PSG In The Box Seat Against Spaniards

Picture: Getty Images
Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended for PSG. Picture: Getty Images
Paris Saint-Germain  goes into the second leg of its Champions League round of 16 tie against Valencia  on Thursday morning (AEST) in the box seat, having scored a 2-1  win away from home a fortnight ago. The Ligue 1 leaders will be tough to beat at their home ground, having gone 22 European matches without defeat at the Parc des Princes since suffering a 4-2 defeat to Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC in November 2006.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be missing for the hosts, having picked up a late red card in the first leg of the tie and is likely to be replaced by Jeremy Menez, who started on the bench in his side’s shock 1-0 Ligue 1 defeat to Reims on the weekend. David Beckham could figure for Carlo Ancelotti’s team after being unavailable for the opening stoush.

Valencia has some headaches at the back with central defenders Adil Rami and Ricardo Costa both ruled out after picking up leg injuries a fortnight ago. With the Spaniards needing to score at least two goals to progress to the next stage, Roberto Soldado is undoubtedly the key man for Valencia. He has four goals and an assist so far this season in Europe and has found the back of the net 19 times in all competitions. He was on the scoresheet in the clubs 2-2  draw with Levante in La Liga on Sunday.

PSG has won its past two home games against Spanish opposition 4-2 , after recording group stage victories over Athletic Club and Sevilla FC in the Europa League last season and the one before. It is unlikely that they will be so dominant against Valencia however. The Spanish side has excelled against French clubs, with the first leg result its first defeat to Ligue 1 opposition in the past 17 matches going back to 1979/80 European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final.

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