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Barcelona v Paris background

FC Barcelona will try to snatch top spot in Group F from leaders Paris Saint-Germain when the teams conclude their group stage programme at the Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi takes on Barcelona old boy Maxwell at Parc des Princes
Lionel Messi takes on Barcelona old boy Maxwell at Parc des Princes ©AFP/Getty Images

First place in Group F is at stake when FC Barcelona host Paris Saint-Germain on matchday six.

• Both clubs have already booked their place in the last 16 and Paris, who have a one-point advantage, need only avoid defeat to hold on to top spot.

• The match brings Laurent Blanc, the Paris coach and one-time Barcelona player, back to the Camp Nou while Thiago Motta, Maxwell and Zlatan Ibrahimović also return.

Previous meetings
• Barcelona beat Paris on away goals after two draws – 2-2 at Parc des Princes, 1-1 at the Camp Nou – in the 2012/13 quarter-finals.

• The lineups for the second leg in Barcelona on 10 April 2013 were:
Barcelona: Valdés, Daniel Alves, Piqué, Adriano (Bartra 62), Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Villa (Song 84), Fàbregas (Messi 62), Pedro.
Paris: Sirigu, Jallet (Van der Wiel 88), Alex, Thiago Silva, Maxwell, Lucas, Verratti (Beckham 83), Motta, Pastore, Ibrahimović, Lavezzi (Gameiro 81).

• Barcelona's only win in six games against Paris was their 1-0 triumph in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final. Luis Enrique played for Barcelona but Blanc, then a Barça player, did not feature in the final.

• Prior to beating Barcelona 3-2 on matchday two, the Parisian club's only victory over the Blaugrana had been a 2-1 home success in the 1994/95 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals (3-2 agg).

Match background

Barcelona
• Barcelona have not failed to win their UEFA Champions League group since 2006/07, but need a victory to extend this sequence to an eighth season.

• Including their 3-1 success against AFC Ajax on matchday three, Barcelona have lost just one of their last 29 UEFA Champions League home matches, winning 22.

• Barcelona's record against French sides at the Camp Nou is W5 D2 L1. Their most recent victory over Ligue 1 opponents was the 5-2 second-leg win over Olympique Lyonnais in the 2008/09 round of 16, in which Lionel Messi scored their third goal.

Paris
• Including this season's draw at Ajax (1-1) and victory at APOEL (1-0), the French champions have lost just two of their last 11 UEFA Champions League away games, winning seven.

• Paris' record in Spain is W4 D3 L3. Their last victory came in the 2012/13 round of 16 when Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore struck in a 2-1 win at Valencia CF.

Coach and player links
• Blanc and Luis Enrique played together at the Camp Nou during the former's solitary campaign there (1996/97).

• Luis Enrique was in the Real Madrid CF side knocked out of Europe two years in a row by Paris: first in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup quarter-finals (3-1 h, 1-4 a), then in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals (0-1 h, 1-1 a).

• Blanc was in charge of the France side beaten 2-0 by Spain in the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-finals. Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and Pedro Rodríguez all featured.

• Ibrahimović spent 2009/10 at Barcelona, winning four trophies and scoring 16 goals in 29 Liga outings.

• Academy product Motta made 96 Liga appearances for Barcelona, scoring six goals. He won two Spanish titles and was an unused substitute for their 2006 UEFA Champions League final win.

• Maxwell made 57 Liga appearances for Barcelona (2009–12) and won two league titles but was not involved in the 2011 UEFA Champions League final.

• Ivan Rakitić lost 3-1 with Croatia against David Luiz and Thiago Silva's Brazil in the 2014 FIFA World Cup's opening match.

• Luiz scored a goal and put a penalty past Claudio Bravo to help Brazil beat Chile on spot kicks after a 1-1 draw in the World Cup round of 16.

• Silva headed an added-time equaliser for AC Milan in a 2-2 draw at Barcelona on the opening night of the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League.

• Yohan Cabaye, Lucas Digne and Blaise Matuidi played in France's 1-0 home friendly victory over a Spain side including Busquets and Pedro on 4 September.

• Marc Bartra and Martín Montoya helped Spain win the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship final 4-2 against Marco Verratti's Italy.

• Motta, Salvatore Sirigu and Gregory van der Wiel have lost major finals against Spain – Motta and unused substitute Sirigu with Italy (0-4, UEFA EURO 2012) and Van der Wiel with the Netherlands (0-1, 2010 World Cup).

Match facts

Barcelona
• Alves and Rafinha are both suspended on matchday six.

• Rakitić, Iniesta, Pedro and Rafinha all scored in the 4-0 victory over third-tier SD Huesca in the first leg of the last 32 Copa del Rey tie on 3 December.

• Iniesta was making his first appearance since injuring his calf in the Clásico defeat by Real Madrid CF on 26 October. Douglas made his first appearance since September's Blaugrana debut against Málaga CF because of a foot problem.

• Messi surpassed Raúl González's competition best of 71 UEFA Champions League goals with his matchday five hat-trick, taking his total to 74.

• On Sunday, Barcelona came from a goal down to beat city rivals RCD Espanyol 5-1, Messi scoring his 29th hat-trick for the club. The forward's first-half goal was his 400th career Barça strike in both official games and friendlies.

• Before the weekend, Neymar had been outscoring Messi in the Liga this term, 11 goals to ten. The last season the Argentinian was not Barcelona's top scorer was 2008/09, when the then 21-year-old was second (with 23 goals) to Samuel Eto'o (30).

• The Catalan club have conceded just seven times in the Liga this season, five fewer than Madrid and Club Atlético de Madrid, who jointly hold the next best defensive record.

• Thomas Vermaelen has been ruled out of action until April after undergoing surgery to treat a persistent hamstring problem.

• Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Manuel Neuer make up the shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d'Or, with the winner announced on 12 January.

Paris
• Paris are the only team from Europe's top five domestic leagues yet to suffer a defeat in all competitions this season.

• Ibrahimović struck twice on Saturday as Paris came from behind to win 2-1 at home to FC Nantes. That took him to 87 goals for Paris, moving him clear of Safet Sušić in fifth on the club's all-time list. Pauleta (109), Dominique Rocheteau (100), Mustapha Dahleb (100) and François M'Pelé (95) are the only men to have scored more for the French side.

• Edinson Cavani has scored eight goals in his last ten appearances for Paris.

• Paris's streak of nine successive wins ended with a 1-1 draw at LOSC Lille on 3 December.

• Ibrahimović's penalty in the win against OGC Nice on 29 November was his first Ligue 1 goal since a hat-trick against AS Saint-Étienne on 31 August.

• Paris's 92% pass completion rate is the highest in the UEFA Champions League alongside Barcelona, FC Bayern München and FC Schalke 04.