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PSG logo
Champions League | Quarter-Finals | 1st Leg
Apr 10, 2024 at 8pm UK
Parc des Princes
Barcelona logo

2 - 3

Dembele (48'), Vitinha (50')
Vitinha (65'), Beraldo (89')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Raphinha (37', 62'), Christensen (77')
Roberto (34'), Cubarsi (82'), Christensen (88'), Lopez (89')

Barcelona missing two players for Paris Saint-Germain battle

Barcelona missing two players for Paris Saint-Germain battle
© Reuters
Gavi and Alejandro Balde are Barcelona's only absentees for Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg with Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona remain without the services of Gavi and Alejandro Balde for Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg with the French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Both players are out for the season, with Gavi, who has travelled to Paris to support his teammates, suffering a serious knee injury while representing Spain towards the end of last year, while Balde underwent a hamstring operation in January.

There is a huge boost for the Catalan giants, though, with both Frenkie de Jong and Pedri included in the squad after five weeks on the sidelines through injury.

The duo were injured against Athletic Bilbao at the start of March, with De Jong suffering an ankle issue, while Pedri picked up another thigh problem.

Barcelona's Alejandro Balde on March 2, 2023© Reuters

Gavi, Balde only absentees for Barcelona

Barcelona boss Xavi has confirmed that both are available to face PSG, as it had initially been revealed that neither had been medically cleared when they were named in the squad.

Marc Guiu, Hector Fort and Marc Casado are also in the squad, while Andreas Christensen is back after an Achilles problem.

Barcelona have not been in action since recording a 1-0 victory over Las Palmas on March 30, and the strength of the squad means that Xavi now has big decision to make in terms of his team selection.

Xavi has also insisted that his side will have to be wary of the weapons that PSG possess, including Ousmane Dembele, who left Camp Nou to make the move to the capital giants.

"Yeah well [Kylian] Mbappe, Dembele, [Randal] Kolo Muani, Vitinha... and the whole squad. We have to be vigilant, we have to be brilliant in this aspect," he told reporters during his pre-match press conference.

Barcelona coach Xavi before the match on December 10, 2023© Reuters

Xavi insists that PSG "are favourites"

"Dembele and I sent each other a message after the draw and said we would see each other in Paris. I have great respect for him, he decided to come here, it was a challenge for him and that's why I think PSG are favourites. They took a great player away from us in the summer."

Xavi also said that PSG "are favourites" to advance to the semi-finals of the competition.

"To say that we are not favourites is not a strategy, I really think so. I think PSG are favourites, they have taken Dembele away from us, they have spent a lot of money, more than us. They are a team made to win the Champions League. I'll say it again, PSG are favourites," he added.

Barcelona will bring a four-game winning run into the first leg of the last-eight affair in Paris, while they are unbeaten in all competitions since the end of January.

Barcelona squad vs. PSG:

Ter Stegen, Pena, Astralaga; Cancelo, Araujo, I Martinez, Christensen, Alonso, Kounde, Cubarsi, Fort; Pedri, Romeu, Roberto, De Jong, Gundogan, Casado, F Lopez; Torres, Lewandowski, Raphinha, Felix, Roque, Yamal, Guiu

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FC Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong leaves the pitch after sustaining an injury on March 3, 2024
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