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Champions League this week : Mission impossible for PSG

Mission impossible. It is the name of a film that could well be the title of Laurent Blanc's pre-match team-talk, given his side have an uphill task at hand if they want to turn the tie back in their favour. Barcelona's 3-1 victory in the first leg last Wednesday leaves the French champions in need of something truly spectacular on Tuesday evening.
Blanc is pinning his hopes of a semi-final place on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti, both of whom were suspended for the first leg. They will be in the squad alongside Thiago Silva who had to be replaced during the first half of the clash in Paris due to a muscle problem. David Luiz, who was a last-minute addition to the squad, took his place and was humiliated by Luis Suárez twice with the Uruguayan nutmegging the Brazilian before each of his two goals that swung the tie firmly in Barça's favour.
PSG would need to muster three goals without reply at the Camp Nou in order to progress. A 2-0 scoreline would not even force extra time for the visitors, who face a daunting task. Blanc did highlight a source of hope for his team last Tuesday given that PSG are the only team to have put three goals past Barcelona in Europe so far this campaign, albeit at the Parc des Princes in the group stage.
Keeping a clean sheet for the visitors will be a considerable challenge in itself and the statistics are firmly against them. On all three previous occasions (Videoton in 1984-85, Liverpool in 1989-90 and AC Milan in 1994-95) in which PSG lost the home leg of a European knock-out tie, they failed to progress.
Ahead of the game, all eyes will be on Ibrahimovic, who returns to a ground where he used to be idolised. The Swede did feature on his former stomping ground for the Parisians during the final match of the group stage when Barça were in need of a victory to clinch first place in the table. Although Ibra put PSG ahead after a quarter of an hour, the home side came back to win 3-1. Few would bet against Luis Enrique leading 'Los Culés' into the Champions League semi-finals, but stranger things have happened in football.

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