Monday, February 17, 2014

Bayer Leverkusen-Paris Saint-Germain Preview: Parisiens favourites despite absence of Cavani

PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Paris Saint-Germain reached the quarter-finals of last season's Champions League under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti and look to be among the contenders this term as they prepare to face Bayer Leverkusen.

Laurent Blanc's men lost just one game on their way to topping Group C before Christmas, with the sole setback coming against Benfica after the Ligue 1 champions had already secured progression.

The French capital club head into Tuesday's first leg last-16 tie at the BayArena in fine form, having lost once in 10 matches in all competitions since the end of the winter break.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has produced some of his best performances in Europe this season and is the tournament's second top-scorer with eight goals.

And the onus will likely be on the Sweden striker to deliver the goods again with strike partner Edinson Cavani - the scorer of 20 goals since joining from Napoli - set to miss out because of a thigh injury picked up against Bordeaux last month.

Defender Christophe Jallet is the only other major injury concern, although the right-back is nearing a return to full fitness.

Leverkusen, meanwhile, will be without midfielder Emre Can due to suspension, while Stefan Reinartz (foot) is a doubt. Strikers Eren Derdiyok (foot) and Robbie Kruse (knee) also miss out through injury.

Sami Hyypia's side qualified for the knockout stages of the competition after finishing second behind Manchester United in Group A.

Bayer Leverkusen-Paris Saint-Germain Preview: Parisiens favourites despite absence of Cavani Rating: 4.5 Posted by: Unknown

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