Champions League Quarter-finals

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Xavi returns for Barcelona against PSG. Image courtesy of
Barcelona  can continue its quest to make the final four of the UEFA Champions League for the sixth successive season when they face Paris Saint-Germain  in the first leg of their quarter-final tie at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday morning (AEST).

Big spending PSG welcomes Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović  back into the ranks after he missed his sides 1-1  draw against Valencia in the last 16 of the competition through suspension. After originally copping a two match ban for his red card in the dying stages of the first leg tie, his suspension was reduced last week after the Ligue 1 club successfully appealed its severity. Thiago Motta is sidelined with a groin injury and will play no part in the match after missing the clubs 1-0  victory over defending champions Montpellier on Friday night, but Lucas Mouta could return from an ankle injury that he suffered at the start of March.

Barcelona welcomes several key players back from injury for this match, with Xavi and Jordi Alba recovering from injury, while goalkeeper Victor Valdes returns after missing the 2-2 La Liga draw  with Celta Vigo on the weekend. Lionel Messi  found the back of the net in that fixture, the 19th successive league match in which he has scored and will be confident of adding to the seven Champions League goals that he has scored in the current campaign.

This is just the second time that PSG has reached the quarter-finals of this tournament but the last time they were here, they beat Barca 3-2 on aggregate courtesy of a 2-1  victory at home. The Parisians have a very good home record in Europe, going 23 matches unbeaten stretching back to 2006, while the Spanish champions have lost two of their past three games on the road in this competition. The most recent meeting between the clubs was a 2-2  draw in a pre-season friendly in Paris on August 4 last year.

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