MATCHDAY: Barça hosts PSG, Leipzig plays Liverpool in CL

A look at what’s happening in the Champions League on Tuesday:


While Neymar and Ángel Di María are out for Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona will have Lionel Messi in his best form of the season as the teams meet again for the first time since Barcelona’s historic 6-1 rout of PSG in 2017. Messi has scored nine goals in the last nine matches in all competitions, including a double in the team’s 5-1 rout of Alavés on Saturday. Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman will be without some players because of injuries, including Ronald Araújo, Philippe Coutinho and Sergi Roberto, but captain Gerard Piqué may be back in action after being out for a long time because of a knee injury. PSG is trying to return to the final after losing the title to Bayern Munich last season, while Barcelona is looking to make it to the quarterfinals for a 14th straight season. The last time Barcelona failed to advance past the last 16 was in 2007, when it was eliminated by Liverpool.


Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann is looking forward to another duel with compatriot Jürgen Klopp, who is going through his toughest period as Liverpool coach. Nagelsmann was Hoffenheim coach when he lost out to Klopp’s Liverpool in their Champions League playoff in 2017 with 2-1 and 4-2 defeats. It’s unlikely to be as one-sided this time around, with Leipzig looking solid in second place in the Bundesliga and enjoying a four-game winning run. Liverpool has lost five of its last seven competitive games but Nagelsmann is still wary of the English champions’ threat. “Slight favorites on account of international experience,” Nagelsmann said. “But I see us as capable of being at the same level as Liverpool on a top day with a top performance and united team effort.” Leipzig’s home game is taking place in Budapest because German authorities would not grant the Liverpool team exemptions from travel restrictions amid fears of coronavirus mutations.


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