In a repeat of last season’s Champions League final, defending champions Bayern Munich is going to face runners-up PSG at the Allianz Arena. Many things have changed since the last between these two sides. PSG sacked Thomas Tuchel and replaced him with Mauricio Pochettino.
Bayern is cruising to yet another Bundesliga title with a lead of seven points at the top of the table. The same cannot be said about PSG as they are having a very rough season domestically as they are three points behind league leaders Lille. However, PSG enjoyed a very good result in the previous round, defeating Barcelona 5-2 on aggregate. Meanwhile, Bayern swept Lazio aside with an aggregate score of 6-2 in the round of 16.
Both the teams come into the game with notable absentees. Bayern will be playing without their talisman Robert Lewandowski. He was injured in Poland’s World Cup qualifying win over Andorra during the international break. Lewandowski will be out of action for at least one month and will miss both the quarterfinal matches against PSG. Another player who will be missing the match for Bayern is Serge Gnabry as he tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.
PSG is without the suspended Leandro Paredes. The French club is sweating over the fitness of midfielder Daniel Pereira. Marco Verratti and Alessandro Florenzi will sit out the first-leg tie after testing positive for COVID-19. Juan Bernat is the long-term absentee for PSG.
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Pavard, Süle, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Sané, Müller, Coman; Choupo-Moting
Paris Saint-Germain: Navas; Kehrer, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Diallo; Gueye, Herrera; Di María, Neymar, Mbappé; Kean
What did coaches say?
Hansi Flick, Bayern Munich coach: “It’s a new match and Paris have a new team with a new coach. But on the whole, not too much has changed since the final last year. Paris have a strong defence and their quality upfront is outstanding. We need to be able to cut off their passing. That also means putting the person with the ball under pressure as soon as possible. Manuel [Neuer] was outstanding in last year’s final. Will that be in the heads of the Paris attackers? I don’t know. But it is an advantage for our team to have a world-class keeper in goal.”
Pochettino, Paris Saint-Germain coach: “In the knockout stages you can never rule a team out. We’re playing the champions of Europe and the world. We respect them, but we have faith in our ability and we’ve come here to win. Bayern are a very well-organised team, playing with a high defensive line and with attacking players able to win a game individually. We will have to find the right balance, not overcommit and be careful not to lose the ball in dangerous areas.”
Bayern Munich 1- 1 Paris Saint Germain
Bayern Munich will be eyeing a clean sheet, but their defense has been leaking goals consistently this season. It is going to be a fascinating tactical battle between two coaches in the Champions League, which is likely to end in a stalemate.
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