Draxler starts for PSG against Barcelona


Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery has selected January signing Julian Draxler for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League last 16 first leg against Barcelona at the Parc des Princes.

The German World Cup winner, formerly of Wolfsburg, gets the nod ahead of Lucas Moura to start on the right flank, while Angel Di Maria will play on the other side in support of Edinson Cavani.

Presnel Kimpembe, 21, lines up in central defence in the absence of injured captain Thiago Silva while Adrien Rabiot plays in midfield with Thiago Motta suspended.

For Barcelona, Andre Gomes is preferred to Ivan Rakitic in midfield while Sergi Roberto starts at right-back after Aleix Vidal suffered a season-ending ankle injury at the weekend.

Barcelona are looking to reach the quarter-finals for the 10th consecutive season while PSG are targeting a place in the last eight for the fifth year in a row.

The French champions have been eliminated by the Catalans twice in recent seasons, in 2013 and 2015.

Starting line-ups for the UEFA Champions League last 16 first leg between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday (kick-off 1945 GMT):

Paris Saint-Germain (4-3-3): Kevin Trapp; Thomas Meunier, Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe, Layvin Kurzawa; Marco Verratti, Adrien Rabiot, Blaise Matuidi (capt); Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani, Julian Draxler

Coach: Unai Emery (ESP)

Barcelona (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Andre Gomes, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta (capt); Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar

Coach: Luis Enrique (ESP)

Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)

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