The Champions League (UCL) is presenting us with some fascinating clashes at the quarterfinal stage of the 2020-21 edition. Another such enthralling clash awaits at the Allianz Arena in Munich when Bayern Munich host PSG today night. The Parisians will have a bitter memory of facing the Bavarian giants in the past. The last time they faced each other was in the UCL final last year where Bayern defeated them 1-0. This handled the title to Bayern. It is of no wonder that PSG will seek redemption this time where it will be a two-legged encounter. Much is expected from this fixture to deliver us with all the excitements ahead of a so-called one-sided ChelseaVsPorto clash in UCL.
Why you should watch this
There is absolutely no football fan in the world who would deny watching this mouth-watering clash. Both the teams are UCL finalists last year and are again facing each other in a knockout situation. Bayern will have the psychological game on their side as they have beaten Paris in the recent past. So it is also going to provide a tactical fight between two famous coaches, Pochetinno and Hansi Flick. The former has a bit of very bad luck when it comes to winning trophies, while the latter is a sextuplet winner. So guys, stay tuned in for the match and see which of these two gain advantage in the first leg. The match is slated to start at 00:30 IST or 19:00 GMT.
The Munich-based side is playing the match after edging second-placed side Leipzig 1-0. A Leon Goretzka goal from a Thomas Mueller assists sent them 7 points clear at the top. It was not the greatest of displays by Bayern as they were inferior to Leipzig in the match. They could only maintain 46% of the possession and a mere 9 shots at the goal. The goals have dried upfront for them as Lewandowski is sidelined for almost 4 weeks. It remains to be seen which player steps up and scores goals for them in the absence of Lewa. Bayern Munich, though, has won only 33% of the matches without Lewandowski, compared to 77.5% with him. They will take the much-needed confidence from the fact that they have beaten a strong Leipzig side 1-0.
Bayern Munich present form:- WWWWW
Paris Saint Germain (PSG)
The Les Parisians are traveling to their neighboring country after suffering a shock 0-1 loss to Lille. Though PSG was the dominant side in the game, they could take only 3 shots on target from 16. They also maintained a healthy possession rate of 65% but conceded in the 19th minute. Jonathan David’s strike from an Ikoné assist proved to be the decisive goal in the match. It was an eventful clash that saw Neymar picking up a red card after seeing a second yellow in 89thmin. Tiago Djálo was also sent off for a second yellow card in the added minutes. The Ligue1 giants will look to recover from their early setback and keep up their hopes of playing the SFs. A lot will depend on their star players to deliver on the big stage in this crunch game.
PSG present form:- DLWWL
The flick will not be able to call upon the services of their star talismanic striker Robert Lewandowski. He is diagnosed with a knee injury and is out for a minimum of four weeks. Along with Lewandowski, star midfielder Corentin Tollisso is also ruled out of the fixture. Striker Douglas Costa is also nursing an injury and it is confirmed that he will be missing the match. Recently, Serge Gnabry also tested positive for COVID-19 and wouldn’t be able to play. Other than these headaches, the Bavarian giants will otherwise have a fit squad to choose from.
The absence of Lewandowski provides Eric Maxim Choupo Moting to start at the striker position. It leaves a likely starting combo of Mueller, Coman, and Sane to play in the remaining three forward positions. The same will possibly have to sit out from the Match. Alphonso Davies and Jerome Boateng will be coming in for Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Sulé at respective positions. Apart from this, there are no other changes to take place from the side that beat Leipzig 1-0.
Paris Saint Germain (PSG)
The Les Parisiens will be without a few key players while they play against Munich. Marco Verratti and Alessandro Florenzi have been tested positive for COVID-19 and will no longer feature in the match. Layvin Kurzawa is also out due to a calf injury. Leandro Paredes has to sit out of the fixture on account of a suspension. Juan Bernat is also ruled out from the game as he is still recovering from his ACL injury. Mauro Icardi will also not be participating because of his left thigh injury sustained a few days ago. Other than these players, there are no injury concerns in the team as of now.
Pochetinno will be boosted by the return of Angel Di Maria into his squad. In absence of Icardi, it is almost certain that Moise Kean will start at the central forward position. In central midfield, PSG will call upon the services of Ander Herrera in place of Paredes to partner Idrissa Gueye. As Florenzi is ruled out, Colin Dagba will fight with Thilo Kehrer for a place in Right Back. Danilo Pereira has returned from injury and he is expected to start at Left back or else Diallo will start.
Head to Head
These two heavyweights have faced each other 6 times in the European circuit. Bayern Munich, though, is on the advantageous side and has won 4 out of the last 6 encounters. The most recent win came in the UCL quarterfinals where Bayern won 1-0 in a cagey game. Kingsley Coman’s header proved to be the fateful goal in that match. This time Paris will definitely try to win and gain an away advantage for them.
Players to watch out for
The German has been one of the consistent performers of Bayern over the last few years. This year too, Mueller has lit up the season with 13 goals and 16 assists for them. He is one of the best playmakers in the football Arena. Undoubtedly, Flick will depend upon him to score goals up front in the absence of Lewandowski.
Joshua Kimmich has been a revelation after Flick changed his position to CDM from RB. He is a pillar in the Bayern midfield along with Goretzka. He has already scored 4 goals and provided a whopping 13 assists this season. Muller is the man upon whom Bayern will look to provide defensive stability in the midfield.
Mbappe is potentially assigned to be the new ruler of the footballing world after Ronaldo. Such is his form that he has scored 30 goals and given away 9 assists in the 20-21 season. It is of no wonder that Pochetinno will bank on him to provide PSG with the much-needed goals upfront.
When Neymar is there in any team, it is quite simple that all eyes will be on him. From the limited matches he got to play this season, he has scored 13 goals and served 3 assists. Against Bayern too, he will be one of the main men who will be looked upon with watchful eyes. If PSG is to make the semifinals, he, with no doubt, has to be at his best.
In all respects, it is going to be a pretty enticing UCL match on the cards. PSG will look to at least win the Champions League (UCL) one last time with their marquee players being linked to other clubs. On the opposite side, Bayern will look to continue on their remarkable and splendid run in Europe. There will be certainly no dearth of excitement as the last year’s finalists square off against each other.
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