How does a team who hasn't played an opponent worth a damn all season prepare for a Champions League knockout stage match? There isn't a good answer, but Paris Saint-Germain is in that unenviable position as they get ready to take on Valencia in the first leg of their round of 16 Champions League tie on Tuesday.
To say that PSG hasn't played anyone worth a damn might be a bit harsh, but it isn't too far off. Ligue 1 is down with the exception of PSG thanks to Montpellier's fall and they were gifted a weak group in the Champions League, making Valencia the most talented and best team they will have faced all season.
Making matters worse for PSG is their run ins with thigh injuries. Thiago Silva will miss the match with a thigh injury, while Thiago Motta is not yet fit from his and will be out as well. David Beckham is also out, but not with thigh problems. He's just not fit, but his absence means little to PSG.
On the flip side is a completely fit Valencia team, who will welcome Joao Pereira, Victor Ruiz and Diego Alves back from recent injuries. But Valencia's real threat to PSG will be on the left, where Andres Guardado can give PSG absolute fits on the flank.
PSG are still the favorites. After all, there are very few teams who will be favored against Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lucas Moura and the rest of PSG's star studded team, but they haven't been tested and are short-handed. That opens the door for Valencia, who could very easily pull out a win in front of a charged Mestalla crowd and put pressure on PSG heading into the second leg at the Parc de Princes.
Match Date/Time: Tuesday, February 12; 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia, Spain
TV: Fox Sports Net, Fox Soccer Plus (USA English), Fox Deportes (USA Spanish), Sky Sports 2 (UK)
Streaming: Fox Soccer 2Go