This is a clash between last season’s finalists, as winners, Bayern Munich will be welcoming runners-up Paris Saint-Germain to the Allianz Arena in a clash of the titans.
There have been nine Champions League meetings between these two teams, with Bayern Munich winning 4 games, while Paris Saint-Germain have won 5 matches. Both teams scored a total of 24 goals in those encounters, 12 goals each.
Bayern Munich will be without the world’s best player, Robert Lewandowski, Ron-Thorben Hoffmann, Corentin Tolisso, Douglas Costa, and Malik Tillman due to injury. Paris Saint-Germain, on the other hand, will be without Layvin Kurzawa, Danilo Pereira, Alexandre Letellier, Mauro Icardi, and Juan Bernat, while Marco Verratti due to a positive COVID-19 test. Leandro Paredes is suspended for this clash.
Speaking ahead of the game, Bayern Munich manager, Hansi Flick said: “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. We need to be well organized in possession. If we lose the ball, we need to be able to quickly put them under pressure again. As for our attacks, we’d like to demonstrate a bit more confidence and determination compared to our match against Leipzig [last weekend].”
He added: “Paris have a strong defence and obviously their quality up front is outstanding. We need to be able to cut off their passing paths. That also means putting the person with the ball under pressure as soon as possible. Manuel [Neuer] was outstanding in last year’s final. Whether that will be in the heads of Paris’ attackers? I don’t know. But it is an advantage for our team to have a world-class keeper in goal.”
PSG manager, Mauricio Pochettino spoke about the knockout stage. He said: “In the knockout stages you can never rule a team out. We’re playing the champions of Europe and of 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.”
He continued: “People talk a lot about Neymar and Mbappé, but the 11 players I decide to put out there tomorrow will be trusted to do the work needed for us to win. Last season was a final. This is different, it’s a two-legged tie. It’s not about revenge, but it’s a challenge, it’s always a challenge to beat a team as strong as Bayern.”
Bayern Munich have had to fight hard to win games this season, but they are winning and they sit top of the Bundesliga, unlike PSG, who are on their worse run in a long time, and they are second in Ligue 1. Lewandowski has been a key figure for the Bavarians, and his absence will be felt, but they should edge this clash.