UEFA Champions League

Paris Saint-Germain v Barcelona: Back Kylian Mbappé in a 9/2 Bet Builder

Kylian Mbappé playing for PSG
Kylian Mbappé was the key man the last time PSG beat Barcelona in the Champions League

Tom Victor's Champions League quarter-final preview focuses on PSG v Barcelona as Luis Enrique goes up against his former club...

Paris Saint-Germain v Barcelona
Wednesday, 20:00
TNT Sports 1

We're into the business end of the Champions League, with eight teams remaining, all of whom will feel they're in with a shot at glory.

Some teams are more likely than others to go all the way, of course. Paris Saint-Germain are second-favourites behind Manchester City to go all the way, according to Opta's projections, with Barcelona holding a 9.2% chance to lift the trophy compared to their rivals' 15.7%.

The winner of this two-legged tie will face what looks like being the easier semi-final on paper, with Borussia Dortmund or Atletico Madrid on the horizon. For now, though, it's all about laying down a marker at the Parc des Princes to set up well for the return leg.

Preparations for the match

Paris Saint-Germain might count themselves fortunate to even be in the quarter-finals, having progressed to the knockout stages with the joint-lowest points total of the 16 teams to progress.

They took just eight points from their group, the same number as FC Copenhagen, but a generous last-16 draw was followed by home and away victories over Real Sociedad.

PSG are 19/201.95 to win the first leg, with Barcelona 27/103.70 to take a lead back to Catalunya. Xavi's side won all three home group games, also beating Napoli at their temporary home of Lluis Companys, but have won just one of four away matches in this season's competition.

Back PSG to win @ 19/201.95

Bet here

Luis Enrique won the Champions League with Barcelona back in 2015 and takes on his former employers off the back of a heavily-rotated side only managing a draw against Clermont. Barça had a weekend off, but are unbeaten in their last nine games in La Liga and haven't even conceded in their last five.

Impressively, their form in the new year has come with the help of young talents showing their worth. One of those youngsters, Pau Cubarsi, will be the youngest ever player to start a Champions League quarter-final if Xavi gives him the nod.

Nothing to choose between the teams

The previous Champions League meetings between the two sides have been evenly split. The most famous clash came in 2017, with Barcelona overturning a 4-0 first-leg deficit to progress, but it's been a mixed bag with four wins apiece and four draws across the 12 previous meetings.

That 6-1 loss at Camp Nou in 2017 was PSG's heaviest ever in Europe, but they got a modicum of revenge the last time the sides met. The French side won 5-2 on aggregate, helped by a 4-1 away win in the first leg, before going on to reach the 2020-21 semi-finals.

Kylian Mbappé scored four of PSG's five goals in that tie, and this is expected to be his final season with the club ahead of a likely summer switch to Real Madrid. Mbappé is 5/61.84 to score at any time on Wednesday, and 4/15.00 to find the net more than once.

Those two games remain the only ones the French international has played against Barcelona in the competition, and yet only two players have scored more against the Blaugranes.

He needs one more to draw level with Andriy Shevchenko (five goals in 11 games) and four to match Thomas Müller (eight in nine, including two in an 8-2 quarter-final win for Bayern Munich in 2020).

Back Mbappé to score @ 5/61.84

Bet here

Paris Saint-Germain v Barcelona prediction

While the infamous 2017 remontada ended well for Barcelona, it began with one of their heaviest ever away defeats in the Champions League. The only other previous instances came at the semi-final stage, with Liverpool mounting a comeback of their own in 2019 and Bayern winning 4-0 at the Allianz Arena in 2013 to set up a 7-0 aggregate victory.

Barcelona have only progressed beyond the quarter-finals in one of their last five attempts. That came in 2019 against Manchester United, but was followed by a painful defeat to Liverpool in the semis.

We have our eye on the Bet Builder market for this game, with Barcelona's stingy defence coming up against the goal threat of Mbappé, the competition's joint-highest scorer. PSG to win to nil and Mbappé to score at any time can be backed at a little over 9/25.50.

Back PSG to win, BTTS no and Mbappé anytime scorer @ 9/25.50

Bet here

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