Bayern Munich host PSG at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night in the UEFA Champions League. These sides met in the final of last year’s competition as Kingsley Coman scored the goal in a 1-0 victory. Die Roten reached this stage having beaten Lazio 6-2 on aggregate whilst PSG stormed past Barcelona with a convincing 5-2 aggregate scoreline. Bayern will be without 35 goal striker Robert Lewandowski for this match whilst Mauricio Pochettino has injury concerns of his own to contend with.
Die Roten are in excellent form with 14 wins in their last 16 matches across three different competitions. The only matches they failed to win came in February as they drew with Arminia Bielefeld and lost to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Since then, the side have won seven consecutive matches, scoring 23 goals. They have put in some big performances in that time including 4-1 at Lazio, 4-2 versus Dortmund and 4-0 versus Stuttgart (including playing 78 minutes with ten men). In their last match, Bayern went seven points clear at the top of the table with a 1-0 away win at RB Leipzig. Leon Goretzka scored the only goal.
Bayern Team News
Bayern were without Jerome Boateng and Alphonso Davies in their last match due to domestic suspension but both should start, though the latter had a very tough time against Angel Di Maria last time he faced him. Coach Hansi Flick could go with the more defensively solid Lucas Hernandez.
Serge Gnabry has tested positive for COVID-19 so Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane will play on the flanks. Top striker Robert Lewandowski again misses out with a knee problem meaning Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will play up front against his former club. Corentin Tolisso and Douglas Costa remain absent with injuries.
Hansi Flick is an adventurous coach and will play to win this home leg. The Champions League final in August showed that Bayern can also set up a little more cautiously to deal with the threat of Mbappe and Neymar. With away goals so crucial, Flick may again play for a 1-0 win by defending slightly deeper and using possession as a means of defending.
Mauricio Pochettino has had a mixed spell in charge of PSG thus far. His last ten Ligue 1 matches have seen four defeats and they trail Lille by three points with seven matches to play. In the Champions League, PSG were sublime in winning 4-1 at Barcelona in the last round before a 1-1 home draw in a match they should have lost by a significant margin.
PSG’s four matches since that second leg have shown their famed inconsistency. They lost 2-1 at home to Nantes, beat Lille 3-0 in the Coupe de France, beat Lyon 4-2 away from (having lead 4-0 after 52 minutes) and then lost 1-0 at home to Lille in Ligue 1. Neymar was red carded in the last minute.
PSG Team News
Pochettino had Neymar back in the starting XI after injury for the last match and he will start this one, possibly as a number ten behind Moise Kean. In central midfielder, PSG are facing a bit of a crisis. Leandro Paredes is suspended and Danilo Pereira is very doubtful with a calf problem. Marco Verratti has COVID-19 and will miss this match so Ander Herrera could come in alongside Idrissa Gueye.
Alessandro Florenzi is another with COVID-19 and who will miss out whilst Juan Bernat remains on the treatment table and Mauro Icardi is also likely to be absent in attack.
Pochettino made it clear in his pre-match interview that his side must not overcommit and leave any spaces. However, with the lack of options in central midfield and the front four that the coach is likely to select, PSG have little choice but to attack.
A score draw, as always, would be a fine away result in the first leg but even a 2-1 PSG defeat would not be a disaster.
Bayern have won 7 matches in a row, scoring 23 goals
Bayern Munich are unbeaten in their last 19 UCL games (W18, D1)
Bayern Munich have won their last three home UCL games against PSG
PSG have lost 4 of their last 10 Ligue 1 matches
PSG have scored in 42 of their last 43 UCL matches (blank vs Bayern in
last season’s UCL final)
Mbappe has scored 6 goals in 7 UCL matches this season
This is expected to be a tactical match, like the final was in August, but both sides should score. A Bayern victory looks the most likely outcome considering their form compared to PSG but the loss of Lewandowski is a major blow. The best bets look to be a one goal Bayern win or perhaps a 1-1 draw.