BARCELONA (Sporting Alert) — Lionel Messi trained with his teammates on Tuesday and is expected to start for Barcelona in tonight’s Champions League second leg quarter-final clash against PSG.
These two teams played to a 2-2 draw in the first leg.
Messi was forced to leave the game at half-time with a groin injury that also kept him out of the La Liga clash with Mallorca, which ended 5-0 in favour of the league leaders.
The injury put the forward in doubt, but he looks well set to play a part in Wednesday night’s contest at Camp Nou.
Pedro and Adriano both trained the team as well, but will have to wait until game time to know if they will feature or not.
“We need to wait to see about Messi, Pedro and Adriano,” said Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura on www.uefa.com.
“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.”
Cesc Fabregas, who scored a hattrick against Mallorca at the weekend could also start given his current form. Barcelona didn’t seem to miss Messi on Saturday, but Roura believes the team would miss a vital element if he was to miss this game.
“If Messi cannot play, we will miss the best player in the world,” he said. “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.”
PSG, meanwhile, will be without Blaise Matuidi, who is suspended, while center backs Thiago Silva (knee)and Alex (hamstring), who missed Saturday’s 2-0 win at Rennes face fitness tests.
Head coach Carlo Ancelotti is confident about his team’s chances of making the last four, but admits it would help if Messi was to miss the contest.
“We have a better chance if Messi doesn’t play, but it won’t change our strategy,” Ancelotti said.
“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.”
Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been in great scoring touch and he’s seen as the main threat once again to the Barcelona defensive line, already without Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano because of injuries.
In the night’s other quarter-final game, Serie A leaders Juventus will be looking to erase a 2-0 deficit against newly crowned German champions Bay Munich when the pair meet at Delle Alpi.
Bay Munich ran all over Juventus in the opening minutes in the first leg to set the tone for the win.
“The first leg confirmed what we knew – that they are a very strong team with great technical quality and a team who play very strong football,” Juventus coach Antonio Conte said.
“They are certainly one of the favourites to win the Champions League. I repeat that Bayern are a side who have worked over recent years to be where they are today.”
He added: “We were not in good form in the first leg, we all know that. We want to play a different game. We are up against a very, very strong side and we know we can do a lot better than we did in Germany.
“I know that my players want to demonstrate what maybe they didn’t manage in Germany. Let’s just see what happens tomorrow.”
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2:45pm: Juventus vs Bayern Munich – Al Jazeera Sports +5, Al Jazeera Sports +10, Setanta Sport Ireland, Sky Sport 1 (Germany), Sky Sport 1 (Italia), SuperSport 4, SuperSport 5, Sportsnet World, Sky Sports 4/HD, Fox Soccer Plus, Dolce Sport 2, NTV+ Football, ESPN2 Australia, FoxSoccer2Go,