Messi_035

400 up for Messi
There are few club records left to Lionel Messi to break at Barcelona but all the while he stays at the Catalan side there will be plenty more remarkable milestones to note, and there’s every chance we might see one in Paris tonight. The Argentine wizard is just one away from 400 goals for Barcelona, and having scored twice against Paris Saint-Germain in the group stages earlier this season he will fancy his chances of finding the net this evening to hit the number. Still just 27 years old, you imagine he’ll rack up another hundred or two before he wraps his career up. We’ll miss him when he’s gone! JW

Bayern won’t need their stars to get the result
Bayern Munich travel to Estadio do Dragao tonight to face Portuguese giants F.C Porto as they continue their charge for another treble winning season. The German side remain on course to repeat their 2013 triumph of the German League, German Cup and Champions League and will need to bypass a Porto side yet to lose in this season’s competition without a host of their key stars. Pep Guardiola will have to face the prospect of a crucial Champions League quarter-final tie without Franck Ribery, Bastian Schweinsteiger, David Alaba, Javi Martinez and Arjen Robben who are all missing through injury as Bayern look to preserve an 11 game unbeaten run in Portugal. Despite their lack of star power, Bayern will likely have too much for Porto tonight and will be aiming to put the tie to bed before they focus on their tie against bitter rival Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup. BF

Zlatan absence not necessarily a disaster
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s red card at Chelsea in the last round is as questionable as the suspension that followed – the Swede misses just one game for a charge that would see at least a three-match ban domestically, whether or not the sending off was harsh at the time. The PSG striker misses tonight’s proceedings and that would suggest a hammer blow to the French side’s hopes of a home win. Ibrahimovic is, after all, the club’s top scorer this season and five goals away from being their all-time leading marksman. There is reason for optimism, though – PSG’s performance at Stamford Bridge after Zlatan’s red was a sensational team display, and the club also beat Barcelona 3-2 in Paris back in September in the group stages without their main hitman. If the visitors think their former player’s suspension is an advantage, they should think again. JW

Jackson Martinez is a game-changer
Porto face an in-form Bayern Munich tonight who will come in to the tie missing a plethora of key stars. The Portuguese champions will know that the dearth of fit players in the Munich set-up offers them up a greater chance of pulling off what would be the surprise upset of the round. Key to Porto’s chances is their hot striker Jackson Martinez, the Colombian has netted 26 times for Porto this season and has been the catalyst for the Portuguese sides success so far this campaign. With rumors emerging that Martinez may not be available for tonight’s tie, Porto’s chances of a crucial result dwindle if not disappear. If rumors of Martinez’ fitness are in-fact true, the tie becomes a lot harder for Porto and could be the stimulus for Bayern taking the initiative in the first half of the two-leg tie. BF 

Goals Goals Goals in Paris
There’s no danger of a cagey affair at the Parcs des Princes this evening, as recent history would suggest goals aplenty in the PSG-Barca first leg. Tonight will be the third tie these teams have played together in the stadium in two years, and there have been at least four goals in the previous two. The sides met at this stage of the Champions League in 2013, and the first leg in Paris finished up a 2-2 draw with Barca going on to progress on away goals. This season, PSG won 3-2 at home in the group stage with goals from David Luiz, Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi seeing the home side through, with Messi and Neymar netting for the visitors. The French hosts will be looking for an aggregate lead to take to Barcelona in the second leg, and their opponents don’t know how to play conservatively so will have a similar attacking mentality. We can’t wait. JW

Words by Joe Walker & Ben Fawcett