PARIS (AP) — With Paris Saint-Germain in rampant scoring form and Zlatan Ibrahimovic hungrier than ever for goals, Bayer Leverkusen is facing a tough task in the Champions League.
Leverkusen needs to score five goals and keep a clean sheet against one of Europe's most prolific attacks in order to qualify outright for the quarterfinals.
Here are five things to know before Tuesday's game:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in the best form of his career, and will be confident of adding to his 45 goals for club and country this season against Bayer Leverkusen.
Added to the spectacular strikes have been some incredible passes, such as the one that released winger Ezequiel Lavezzi for his goal against Bastia on Saturday. As an innocuous-looking ball bounced high near the center circle, normally there would be no danger, but Ibrahimovic showed incredible dexterity to twist his leg up to near shoulder height and volley the ball with his heel into Lavezzi's path.
It was a pass of such precision and timing that, even given Ibrahimovic's considerable repertoire, it was something special.
With Ibrahimovic scoring freely, there seems little pressure on the others to get goals. But that might happen one day, and PSG coach Laurent Blanc has urged other players to chip in more.
Brazilian winger Lucas has scored only three goals this season, while Italy midfielder Marco Verratti has yet to find the net in a total of 73 club appearances.
"The lad's full of talent but he needs to be more disciplined," Blanc said, speaking about Verratti. "He can do a bit more than what he's doing now because he strikes the ball well. He needs to show more of a desire to get forward, it's not normal that he hasn't scored any goals."
Lucas almost scored the goal of the season against Marseille recently, running the length of the field and dribbling past four players only to see his shot cleared off the line.
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