UCL Preview: Barcelona travels to PSG, Liverpool faces RB Leipzig, and more

UCL Preview: Barcelona travels to PSG, Liverpool faces RB Leipzig, and more

European Soccer

UCL Preview: Barcelona travels to PSG, Liverpool faces RB Leipzig, and more

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The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 begins its close on Tuesday with eight teams aiming to clinch a spot in April’s quarterfinal round.

Barcelona takes a trip to the Parc Des Princes on Wednesday, looking to overturn a heavy three-goal deficit against Paris Saint-Germain. Lionel Messi and his teammates have it all to do if they want to stay alive in the European competition while Kylian Mbappe and PSG can afford to play more conservatively after a dominant first-leg victory.

2019 winners Liverpool will soon relinquish the English Premier League title after a disappointing league campaign, but remains in the hunt for a second UCL title in three seasons. Jurgen Klopp’s side holds a 2-0 advantage coming into Wednesday’s second leg date with RB Leipzig in Budapest.

Elsewhere, Portuguese side FC Porto will try to eliminate Juventus after claiming a 2-1 first leg win while Borussia Dortmund takes on Sevilla, hanging on to a 3-2 aggregate lead.

Here is a closer look at all four matches scheduled this week in UCL play:

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Barcelona

(Wednesday, 3 p.m., CBS Sports Network/Univision)

Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 4-1 first leg win at the Camp Nou in February and will now look to eliminate Barcelona with ease on Wednesday. Mauricio Pochettino’s side claimed a blowout victory in Spain thanks to the services of Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick. Since then, PSG has claimed three wins in domestic competitions and posted shutouts in all of those victories.

Barcelona remains in the hunt for the La Liga title, but will need a heroic performance in Paris to stay in the Champions League. Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann have led Barcelona to four wins and one draw since a first leg defeat to PSG, so confidence is high coming into Wednesday’s match.


Liverpool vs. RB Leipzig

(Wednesday, 3 p.m., Galavision/FuboTV)

Liverpool’s dream of back-to-back EPL titles is slowly coming to an end, but Jurgen Klopp’s side remains a threat in the UEFA Champions League. The Reds suffered a sixth-consecutive home league loss on Sunday, falling 1-0 to relegation-threatened Fulham. Now the focus for Liverpool has to be on stopping an in-form RB Leipzig side, a major asking point for the injury-ravaged defensive corp, which will now be without Jordan Henderson.

Julian Nagelsmann’s side have won all four of their domestic matches since a first leg loss in Budapest, making them a dangerous opponent for Liverpool this week. Yussuf Poulsen has scored in three-straight matches for RB Leipzig while Christopher Nkunku and Emil Forsberg are also on good form coming in. Erasing a 2-0 first-leg deficit will be a tall order, and Nagelsmann will let his team know it can’t afford any of the kinds of blunders that led to the first-leg defeat.


Borussia Dortmund vs. Sevilla

(Tuesday, 3 p.m., Galavision/FuboTV)

Borussia Dortmund suffered a disappointing Der Klassiker loss to Bayern Munich this weekend and will now try to rebound by advancing in Europe. Erling Haaland has four goals in his last four outings for the Black and Yellow, but will try to overcome a slight ankle injury suffered over the weekend. If he cannot go, the pressure will be higher on Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, and others.

Confidence is not at an all-time high for Sevilla coming into Tuesday’s second leg clash with Borussia Dortmund, but the Spanish club needs to do anything and everything to avoid a European exit. Three-consecutive defeats have Julen Lopetegui’s coming in needing a heroic outing to advance, but their dynamic attack could save them if needed. Lucas Ocampos, Luuk De Jong, and others could all start to provide an early spark for the La Liga visitors.


Juventus vs. FC Porto

(Tuesday, 3 p.m., TUDN/Unimas/FuboTV) 

Juventus suffered a major slip up against FC Porto in the first leg, but will be favored to get the job done in Turin on Tuesday thanks to Federico Chiesa’s late away goal in the first leg. Andrea Pirlo’s side has won three of their last four games domestically, most recently defeating Lazio 3-1 on Saturday. The duo of Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo have been on fire of late (seven combined goals in four matches) and will be the lead attacking options for the Old Lady this week.

FC Porto’s hopes of advancing will rely on a strong defensive performance against Juventus, a task that could prove to be too much. Sérgio Conceicao’s side are coming off a 2-0 league win against Gil Vicente, but will face a much, stronger roster this week.

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