Barcelona may have to play PSG without Lionel Messi on Wednesday night, but Xavi Hernandez thinks the little Argentine’s presence will still be felt at the Camp Nou.
Messi scored the first of Barca’s two away goals at the Parc des Princes in last week’s 2-2 first leg draw, and Xavi thinks those goals will ultimately be the difference.
While he acknowledges that the next 90 minutes against PSG will be tough to handle, Xavi remains confident that Barca are well on their way to another Champions League semi-final.
"A 2-2 draw away from home was a positive result for us," Xavi said in the build-up to Wednesday’s crunch encounter.
"Seeing the game you are left feeling bad, because you go 2-1 ahead almost in the 90th minute, and in the very last move of the game they equalise. It was unfortunate.
“But it is not a bad result, it is a good result. The two away goals were the most important things from the first leg. We have 90 minutes to play at home, in front of our own fans."
Yet even though Xavi expects the home comforts of the Camp Nou to see Barca through, he follows the school of thought that PSG have arrived as a team. He thinks that their star-studded line-up is set to be a familiar contestant at the business end of Europe’s most important club competitions.
"We are optimistic, knowing we are favourites and playing at home," Xavi said.
"But PSG have a great team, quick players up front and they counter-attack very well. They are not a little team, but a really big team."