Sunday, June 20
Mar 10, 2021 at 8pm UK
PSGParis Saint-Germain
Mbappe (31' pen.)
Kurzawa (8'), Gueye (50'), Paredes (50'), Icardi (89')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Messi (37')
Mingueza (25'), Lenglet (30'), de Jong (38')

Combined XI: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Barcelona

:Headline: Combined XI: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Barcelona: ID:438287: from db_amp
Ahead of Wednesday's Champions League last-16 second leg between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, Sports Mole picks a combined XI from both squads.

Paris Saint-Germain will be desperate to avoid being on the wrong end of another historic Champions League comeback when they welcome Barcelona to the Parc des Princes for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 battle on Wednesday.

Mauricio Pochettino's side boast a seemingly unassailable 4-1 lead from the first leg thanks to Kylian Mbappe's hat-trick and Moise Kean's effort, although Barcelona will look back fondly on La Remontada in the 2016-17 season before their trip to the French capital.

The hosts warmed up for this encounter with a resounding 3-0 triumph over Brest in the Coupe de France as Mbappe (2) and Pablo Sarabia found the back of the net on the night, and it would take nothing short of a catastrophe for Les Parisiens to be sent packing now.

Barcelona also enjoyed a positive domestic result at the weekend as they overcame Osasuna 2-0 in La Liga thanks to goals from Jordi Alba and Ilaix Moriba, and Ronald Koeman's men go into this game having won four on the bounce in all competitions.

With some of the world's most highly-rated players on show at the Parc des Princes, Sports Mole selects a combined XI from both squads, using only players expected to be available for the showdown.

Getting possibly the most difficult selection out of the way first, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Keylor Navas continue to prove themselves as two of the world's best shot-stoppers week in week out, with the latter shipping a mere 18 goals in 28 appearances across all competitions this term - keeping 15 clean sheets in the process. Ter Stegen's stats do not match up as well against his Costa Rican adversary, but Barca would be much worse off without him and he has recorded four shut-outs in a row ahead of this game, so he just edges out Navas in our lineup.

Barcelona and PSG have both had the pleasure of Dani Alves plying his trade at right-back for them down the years, and their current first-choice players in that position have some big boots to fill if they are to emulate the serial winner's success. Sergino Dest has struggled with injuries this term but has taken no time at all to settle into life in Catalonia, while Alessandro Florenzi - who scored a phenomenal long-range goal against Barcelona for Roma back in 2015 - should be declared fit for the second leg and forces his way into our first XI due to his wealth of experience in the Champions League.

On the opposite side of defence, Layvin Kurzawa has done extremely well to reignite his PSG career after his days in the capital looked all but over last summer, and the Frenchman continues to keep Mitchel Bakker out of the team following a run of strong performances. However, there is no overlooking Jordi Alba - who has chipped in with five goals and 11 assists in all competitions this term - and even though he will need to have an arm injury looked at, he is expected to take part and walks into our combined lineup.

Barcelona's defensive record has improved in recent weeks, but with Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo battling to overcome injuries, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti still do not inspire much confidence at the back. In contrast, PSG's central pairing of Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe are enjoying a hugely successful season with a Parisiens side who have shipped just 17 league goals all season, and the duo keep the likes of Oscar Mingueza, Thilo Kehrer and Abdou Diallo out of this XI.

Moving further up the pitch, it was a big ask to cut down on the attack given the plethora of world-class names in both teams' ranks, so we have limited ourselves to two players in the engine room. Marco Verratti has endured another frustrating campaign with PSG due to injuries, but the Italy international continues to be a huge presence for PSG as Pochettino looks to get the most out of his vision, dribbling and passing abilities in the number 10 role, so he was a shoo-in for this XI.

Alongside the PSG man is Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong, who will hope to remain in midfield from now on after a few emergency shifts in defence, and with the former Ajax man chalking up six goals and six assists this season, he makes our team over Leandro Paredes, Pedri, Sergio Busquets and Idrissa Gueye.

The attacking quartet of this team would strike fear into the hearts of any defence, as we begin on the right with Angel Di Maria and his compatriot Lionel Messi up front. Neymar would have been a shoo-in, but the PSG man has now been ruled out of this encounter, so the returning Di Maria fills in for his fellow South American. Messi's two assists at the weekend took him up to 35 goal contributions for the season - a relatively modest figure by his standards - and the Argentine must lace up his best shooting boots if Barca are to have any chance of staging another Remontada-esque comeback.

Antoine Griezmann's contributions have slowed down in recent weeks, but he finally appears to be finding his feet at Camp Nou with 12 goals and 11 assists across all tournaments this season. Alongside the Barca man in the final attacking spot is his compatriot and fellow 2018 World Cup hero Kylian Mbappe, who has already chalked up 25 goals this term after his brace against Brest. Incidentally, the PSG man could become the youngest player to hit 25 goals in the Champions League - a record currently held by none other than Messi himself - if he makes the net ripple on home soil in the second leg.

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