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Makeshift Barcelona primed for PSG

Published: Tuesday 9 April 2013, 20.15CET
Jordi Roura is confident an injury-hit FC Barcelona will overcome Paris Saint-Germain FC, who coach Carlo Ancelotti says will "make the most of everything we have".
by Lucy Turner
from Barcelona

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Published: Tuesday 9 April 2013, 20.15CET

Makeshift Barcelona primed for PSG

Jordi Roura is confident an injury-hit FC Barcelona will overcome Paris Saint-Germain FC, who coach Carlo Ancelotti says will "make the most of everything we have".

Satisfied with a 2-2 away draw in Paris, assistant coach Jordi Roura is confident FC Barcelona's squad are strong enough to overcome mounting injury worries and progress past Paris Saint-Germain FC to a sixth consecutive UEFA Champions League semi-final. With eight-goal Lionel Messi, forward Pedro Rodríguez and full-back Adriano set for fitness tests and defenders Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano already out, Roura remains assured there will be no drop in standard, saying the "replacements offer guarantees and will perform at the highest level". Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, knows his PSG side will require "confidence and character" to pull off a surprise at Camp Nou.

Barcelona
Jordi Roura, assistant coach
We need to wait until tonight and tomorrow to see about Messi, Pedro and Adriano. The feeling we have is positive but we have to wait for the training sessions before making a decision. If they play it is because they are fit to play. We have to be patient and wait on the medical tests which are vital to the final decision. I would not like to guess anything.

If Messi cannot play, we will miss the best player in the world. It would be a handicap for us, but his replacement will play well too and we will try to win. The best way to approach this tie was to play a great first leg. We are happy with what we did in Paris. If Messi cannot play, his replacements offer guarantees and will perform at the highest level.

Every match and every team are different. I am happy with the 2-2 draw in Paris. We have to treat this return game like a final and give an intense display. Our intention will be to win, like all our matches. We have to try that from the start.

I do not think PSG will change their style. We know them perfectly well and they are dangerous on the counterattack. We are used to these scenarios and these teams; that will not change our way of playing. We have to win the match and that will guarantee us a semi-final, our sixth successive participation at that stage.

In some matches we have lacked luck in the last few minutes. We know that and we have tried to find solutions. This season we have had defensive problems and injuries at the back but we have found solutions and replacements. We hope our team are just as good at finding solutions.

Weekend result
Saturday: Barcelona 5-0 RCD Mallorca (Fàbregas 20 37 45, Sánchez 22 38)
Pinto; Alves, Piqué (Abidal 70), Bartra, Montoya; Thiago Alcántara, Song, Iniesta (Dos Santos 51), Sánchez, Tello; Fàbregas (Deulofeu 65).

• Cesc Fàbregas struck his first professional hat-trick, Barcelona's first three-goal haul in the Liga by a Spanish player since Luis Enrique in 2001. The Catalan giants have lost once in 24 home games this season, drawing three.

Team news
Already suspended for Wednesday's visit of PSG, Mascherano has been ruled out until May with torn knee ligaments. Messi (hamstring), Pedro (calf) and Adriano (hamstring) all missed the Mallorca game on Saturday, when Éric Abidal made his first appearance since a liver transplant on 10 April 2012. Puyol (knee) remains sidelined.

PSG
Carlo Ancelotti, coach
We have a better chance if Messi doesn't play, but it won't change our strategy. We have to have confidence to play against one of the best teams in the world. We need confidence and character. We can't think about our mistakes but about what we did well in the first leg.

I'm not worried. PSG are happy to be here because it'll be a fantastic night. Everyone knows we have a small chance of making it, but we do have a chance. We have proved we can play well against a fantastic team.

I have to say we will use all our quality – attack, defend, be solid, be strong and make the most of everything we have. Nothing will change at PSG even if we don't make it to the semi-finals; the future is fantastic whether we win or lose. If we don't win it this season, we will try to do it next. It's important for us to have our fans here to see the match. They are here to help us and that's very positive. We will make an effort for everyone at PSG.

Weekend result
Saturday: Stade Rennais FC 0-2 PSG (Ménez 56, Ibrahimović 90+3)
Sirigu; Van der Wiel, Camara, Sakho, Maxwell; Chantôme, Verratti (Beckham 46), Matuidi, Ménez (Pastore 77); Ibrahimović, Gameiro (Lavezzi 66).

• Zlatan Ibrahimović's eighth goal in as many outings for PSG sealed the Ligue 1 leaders' first win in 11 trips to Rennes. Jérémy Ménez's opener, when he skipped around three challenges before finishing emphatically, was his first strike in ten matches for club and country.

Team news
The biggest question mark hangs over Thiago Motta, the most natural replacement for the banned Blaise Matuidi but a midfielder who has been limited to one game since January because of a groin injury. Ancelotti will decide on his availability on matchday, while Alex (hamstring) and Thiago Silva (knee) sat out Saturday's fixture and face fitness tests. Alex has trained with the rest of the squad this week, with Thiago Silva working on his own.

Match fact
Four-time European champions Barcelona are targeting a sixth straight semi-final appearance. They are undefeated in 20 UEFA Champions League home matches – winning 16 – since a 2-1 reverse against FC Rubin Kazan on 20 October 2009.

Last updated: 10/04/13 10.35CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000349/match=2009604/prematch/preview/index.html#makeshift+barcelona+primed+psg

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