Barca set for uphill task

Football Champions League : Catalan giants look to overturn a 4-goal deficit against PSG

Barca set for uphill task

 Barcelona first struggled to come to terms with their shock 4-0 defeat to Paris St Germain in the Champions League last 16 first leg but have sparkled in their last two games and are daring to believe they can defy history by reaching the quarterfinals.

After scraping 2-1 wins over Leganes and Atletico Madrid in the immediate aftermath of their humbling in Paris, the five-times European Cup winners have doled out a 6-1 thrashing to Sporting Gijon and a 5-0 hammering to Celta Vigo.

Although no side has ever managed to claw back a four-goal deficit in the second leg of a Champions League tie, the form of Neymar and Lionel Messi has convinced some Barcelona fans that history could be made at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Neymar and Messi both starred in an awesome attacking display against Celta on Saturday and after Messi struck his second goal, Barca's fifth, supporters began chanting "Yes we can!".

Coach Luis Enrique, who announced last week he will leave the club at the end of the season, said it was not just fans who believed Barca were capable of what to date has proved an impossible job.

Dortmund confident

Borussia Dortmund are counting on their attacking form, despite the absence of injured Marco Reus, to reverse a 1-0 first-leg deficit when they host Benfica for their round of 16 second leg on Wednesday.

The Germans have scored 12 goals in their last three league games alone and look to be hitting top form at the right time.

"We are brimming with confidence, the atmosphere within the team is great," Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said after his team crushed Bayer Leverkusen 6-2 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Dortmund also scored a record-breaking 21 goals in the Champions League group phase, but it could not keep up the streak in Lisbon last month, when they squandered a bagful of chances and a penalty to lose 1-0.

Bundesliga leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who missed most of those chances and saw his spot kick saved, has since rediscovered his scoring form, netting twice against Leverkusen.

"We have been creating chances and huge scoring opportunities for weeks now," Tuchel said.

However, he will lack versatile attacking midfielder Reus, who suffered a thigh muscle injury on Saturday and was ruled out for a month.

Mario Goetze will also be missing, with the Germany midfielder sidelined since late last month with a metabolic disorder.

Tuchel has enough firepower left and can also count on his in-form youngsters, including teenagers Christian Pulisic and Ousmane Dembele, both of whom were on target on Saturday.

The Portuguese are equally deadly up front and poised to reach the last eight for the third time in six season.

Comments (+)