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Barcelona face tough Champions League test in Paris

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With the second week of the UEFA Champions League getting underway this evening, we look ahead to the matches involving La Liga’s representatives.

Paris Saint-Germain v Barcelona

Perhaps the biggest and most eagerly-anticipated game of the competition sees Luis Enrique’s men take on the French champions at the Parc des Princes.

This is arguably Barca’s toughest test of their season so far which sees them unbeaten after scoring 18 goals in all competitions without reply.

They will do very well if they can tame the attacking exploits of Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Pastore and Lucas Moura, although Zlatan Ibrahimovic will sadly miss out due to a foot injury.

PSG have started their campaign slowly, by contrast, with five draws from their opening eight matches in Ligue 1, while they were held at Ajax in the opening round of matches in this competition.

For the Catalans, it is a chance to stamp their authority on the group as they look to build on their opening 1-0 win over APOEL.

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BATE Borisov v Athletic Club

Athletic will be hoping their trip to Belarus in the other game involving Spanish clubs tonight will see them finally turn a corner and get their season up and running.

Fourth-place finishers last year, they find themselves in the bottom three of La Liga at present after just four points to their name from six matches.

After opening their European campaign with a 0-0 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk, they will be expecting to grab their first victory in the competition against a BATE side that conceded six last time out at FC Porto.

Atletico Madrid v Juventus

The battle of the Spanish and Italian champions at Vicente Calderon is the stand-out fixture on Wednesday.

Atletico will be hoping for drastic improvements on the continent after suffering a surprise 3-2 defeat at Greek side Olympiacos earlier this month.

They have started well in La Liga, however. Still unbeaten and trailing Barca by just two points, they made a real statement by thumping one of the form sides - Sevilla - 4-0 on Saturday.

This proves that come the big match, they are still undoubtedly up for the challenge and Juve will definitely face a tough encounter tomorrow night.

Ludogorets v Real Madrid

The defending champions face a trip to Bulgaria where they will expect a comfortable victory having got back to winning ways domestically.

No game is easy though and the competition debutants held their own against English side Liverpool last time out. It took a stoppage-time Steven Gerrard penalty to deny them a point and their small ground can definitely intimidate Real.

With the attacking quality at Carlo Ancelotti’s disposal though, you can see no other outcome than an away win.

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Topics:
Football
Athletic Bilbao
UEFA Champions League
La Liga
Real Madrid
Barcelona

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