PSG vs Barcelona Prediction: Back Mbappe to score anytime

 | 9th April | 

7 mins read

parc des princes paris psg scaled

A box office clash in the Quarter-Finals here as two of the biggest sides in European face one another for the right to play in the semi-finals. This one will be shown live on TNT Sports 1 with kick-off time set for 20:00.

We've asked our La Liga betting expert to preview this one and Mark Sochon provides his Best Bets along with all the reasons why he's picked them as part of his PSG vs Barcelona predictions...

PSG vs Barcelona Betting Tips

  • Kylian Mbappe to score anytime @ 5/6
  • Barcelona Over 9.5 Shots & Barcelona Over 3.5 Corners @ Evens

PSG and Barcelona commence their Champions League Quarter Final on Wednesday at the Parc des Princes. While both clubs have had their issues this season, placed on the favourable side of the draw, both will now believe they have a genuine chance of progressing all the way to Wembley which will host the Final on the first day of June.

Cast your mind back just a few months and the prospect of either of these teams competing for the trophy this season would have seemed unlikely.

PSG limped through the group stage, collecting only eight points, the joint fewest of any of the teams to progress into the Last 16. They were on the wrong end of a 4-1 hammering at Newcastle and needed a 98th minute penalty to rescue a point in the reverse fixture, before a draw in Dortmund on matchday six secured qualification by the barest of margins.

A somewhat transitional season was always to be expected, with Luis Enrique taking over in a summer that saw Leo Messi and Neymar depart, signalling the end of PSG’s failed Galactico project.

Slowly but surely, the Spaniard has managed to construct an increasingly competitive team and PSG come into this game unbeaten in 27 matches in all competitions, with their last defeat coming in Milan more than five months ago.

With a ten point advantage at the top of Ligue 1 and a French Cup Final against Lyon to look forward to, all is good on the domestic front, but it’s true that doubts still remain about their ability to compete with the continent’s best.

Despite only finishing as runners-up in their group, a Last 16 tie against an out-of-form Real Sociedad side made for a relatively smooth passage into the Quarters with Kylian Mbappe scoring three of the goals in a 4-1 aggregate win.

There can be little doubt that Barcelona will provide a sterner test and it’s an opponent that Luis Enrique knows well. He was at the helm the last time the Catalan giants won the Champions League in 2015 and with only one Semi Final appearance since, it’s fair to say that this is Barca’s best opportunity to reach the Final since they inexplicably blew a three goal lead at Anfield five years ago.

As is the case with their opponents, Barca have improved in recent months. It was all doom and gloom back in January when Xavi announced his intention to leave in the summer following a 5-3 home defeat in La Liga against Villarreal.

Barcelona haven’t lost any of their 11 matches since then, but it’s only really over the last few weeks that they’ve started to look like a team that might be capable of competing at the business end of this competition.

Their Last 16 draw was also favourable against a misfiring Napoli side that was languishing in mid-table in Serie A. Despite some significant injuries, Barca were good value for their 4-2 aggregate win and they backed that up with an impressive 3-0 victory away to Atlético Madrid in La Liga, suggesting they might be coming into form at just the right time heading into a Champions League Quarter Final tie that is very difficult to call.

Team News:

Luis Enrique is not the only man coming up against his former club here, with Ousmane Dembele expected to start on the right side of the PSG attack against the team he spent six seasons with before moving to France last summer.

He’ll certainly feel like he has a point to prove after a mixed spell in Catalonia, but it’s the other flank that will have Barca boss Xavi most concerned with Kylian Mbappe likely to be in direct competition with his international teammate Jules Kounde on the right side of the Barca back four.

PSG have a significant absentee with right back Achraf Hakimi suspended. Nordi Mukiele is also a doubt after sustaining a head injury in the league at the weekend as Luis Enrique opted to rest all of his regulars in the 1-1 draw against Clermont Foot.

Xavi didn’t have that decision to make with no league games in Spain last weekend. 10 days have passed since they beat Las Palmas 1-0 in La Liga. That has offered a bit more recovery time for injured midfield duo Pedri and Frenkie de Jong. Both have travelled to Paris but remain major doubts for the first leg while Gavi and Alejandro Balde are still out.

PSG vs Barcelona Odds:

PSG are priced at 19/20 to win the first leg and slight favourites to win the tie overall. Any kind of result would be a positive for the visitors on Wednesday and you can back Barcelona to win at 13/5 while the Draw is on offer at 11/4.

If you’re expecting goals, you can back Both Teams to Score at 4/7 while Over 2.5 Goals is priced at 4/6 with Over 3.5 Goals available at 13/8.

Kylian Mbappe leads the race to score first at 11/4 with Robert Lewandowski priced at 9/2 and both forwards take great form into the game.

Alternatively, if you fancy this to develop into a tighter game than many are expecting as Xavi comes up against his former boss for the first time, you can back Under 2.5 Goals at 11/10 while Both Teams to Score - NO is priced at 5/4.

You can get odds of 13/5 for PSG to win to nil while the Draw looks good at 13/10 in the Half-Time Result market.

Bet 1 - Kylian Mbappe to score anytime @ 5/6

Despite their long unbeaten run, It’s certainly still fair to question whether this is truly a great PSG side or one that is capable of competing for the Champions League this season.

However, what can’t be doubted is the quality of Kylian Mbappe. On the overall balance of play, there wasn’t a great deal between PSG and Real Sociedad in the last round, yet the outcome

was rarely in doubt thanks to the individual brilliance of the Frenchman who was on target in both legs and has scored seven in his last five PSG starts.

Often operating more centrally this season, Mbappe is thriving on the responsibility of being the focal point of the PSG attack with Messi and Neymar no longer around. He rarely fails to rise to the big occasion and I’m backing Kylian Mbappe to score anytime at 5/6 against a Barca defence that has conceded at least once in each of their last six Champions League games.

Bet 2 - Barcelona Over 9.5 Shots & Barcelona Over 3.5 Corners @ Evens

PSG have struggled to control games in the Champions League this term and while they may not necessarily get the result they want, Barcelona’s style of play and strong form should ensure they have plenty of good spells in this game where they spend time in the opposition half and ask questions of PSG.

I’m using the #PickYourPunt builder to back Barcelona Over 9.5 Shots and Barcelona Over 3.5 Corners at Evens which was a winning bet in each of their two legs against Napoli in the last round.

It’s also worth noting that Real Sociedad managed to have 23 shots and 13 corners across the two legs against PSG in the Last 16. With more firepower, Barca could easily better those tallies across the two games, although whether they can come out on top in terms of goals is more doubtful against the Parisians who have world-class performers at both ends of the pitch in the shape of Mbappe and keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Mark Sochon primarily covers La Liga for us at Betfred Insights. You can check out his and the rest of our Football Betting Tips from the team on our main Football page.

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