The Champions League Round of 16 often has some disappointing matchups in it as it builds up to a more dramatic quarterfinal round, but this year there are some tremendous pairings. The biggest of them all might be Barcelona against Paris Saint-Germain, a tie that kicks off in the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.
Both teams have had their struggles this season — both are in second place in their respective leagues, and both have had long injury woes and stretches of outright bad form. Barcelona’s form has improved of late, though, and they’ve finally started to look something like the team they’re supposed to be, while PSG have still found themselves unable to catch Monaco in the Ligue 1 standings.
Of course, Paris Saint-Germain will be leaning heavily on history in this tie — while they’ve never fared well against Barcelona in the Champions League, they’ve also never lost a Round of 16 tie. There’s a first time for everything, but PSG will be hoping to avoid creating that particular historical precedent just yet — and while it will take a massive step up in form for them to topple Barcelona in the Round of 16, if they get off to a strong start in the first leg of the tie and hold onto their momentum then they certainly have the talent it would take to pull it off.
But Barcelona are Barcelona, and that means that it’s unlikely we see an upset — but the possibility is there, and the hope for it exists. Now we just have to wait to see the outcome.