Barcelona will have two defensive absentees for their Champions League game against Paris St. Germain as Javier Mascherano and Aleix Vidal are ruled out.
The Catalan Giants kick start their knockout stages in the Champions League with a tricky trip to the Parc des Princes in the first leg of the Round of 16 against Ligue 1 giants Paris St. Germain.
A guaranteed absentee for the Spanish side will be right-back Aleix Vidal. The club have confirmed that the Spaniard will miss the remainder of the season after a horrifying ankle dislocation in his team’s 6-0 drubbing of Alaves.
Left-back Theo Hernandez slid in dangerously into the stride of Vidal, and the Barca defender found himself on the wrong end of the challenge. Midfielder Andres Iniesta quickly signaled to the bench to withdraw Vidal.
The 23-year-old was performing decently until the injury and also provided an assist for the first goal of the contest that was scored by Luis Suarez. He is undoubtedly going to a huge miss, and Sergi Roberto appears to be the obvious replacement for him.
Another absentee on the defensive third is Argentine Javier Mascherano. The ever-present veteran suffered a hamstring injury against Atletico Madrid and is set to miss out on at least another week of first-team football.
Mascherano was not among the starting eleven for that game and came off the bench in the 62 minute. He played on until the final whistle, but appeared to have aggravated his hamstring sometime during his brief spell on the field.
Barcelona released a statement that read: “The FC Barcelona medical staff have confirmed after tests carried out on Javier Mascherano that the first team player has an left thigh injury. His return to action will depend on his recovery.”
For the hosts, defensive midfielder Thiago Motta is suspended and will play no part in the first leg. Javier Pastore and Grzegorz Krychowiak are unlikely to pass late fitness tests, and will also miss out. It appeared that Thiago Silva was set to feature, but L’Equipe have reported that the Brazilian will play no part in the game against Barcelona.