The UEFA Champions League. The pinnacle of club football. The knockout stages of the Champions League bring with them mesmerising football and some of the greatest football matches of the season. This season is no different. The quarter-final draw has gifted fans with some truly amazing ties to look forward to.
Possibly the most eye-watering clash of the quarter-finals sees Treble winners Bayern Munich face beaten Champions League finalist Paris Saint-Germain. The relentless Germans will seek to continue their strong form in this competition as the favourites to retain their crown. The hungry Parisians on the other hand will be out for revenge after failing against the Bavarians in last year’s Final.
The stage is set for an absolute spectacle to be played out between these two giants. Join us as we take you through everything you need to know before this colossal clash.
The Bavarian giants have enjoyed a brilliant campaign so far; they have won a sextuple, something that was unprecedented in German football. However, that’s not to say they have been invincible this season. Certainly, when compared to last year’s dominant campaign, Hansi Flick’s men have looked somewhat vulnerable at times.
The Germans shockingly suffered the ignominy of being knocked out of the DFB Pokal early in the campaign. Bayern have also looked defensively frail in the Bundesliga, with many teams exposing their high line. In fact, they have only managed to keep six cleansheets in the Bundesliga this season. The Bavarians have largely depended on their attack to outscore their opposition on many occasions. And let’s be honest here, with Bayern’s star-studded attack spearheaded by Robert LewanGOALski, they usually end up outscoring their opponents.
But hold on.
Bayern Munich will not have Lewandowski with them for both fixtures against PSG. The Polish striker picked up a knee injury in the international break. This is a massive blow for Bayern and their chances to progress. Lewandowski has been the best striker in the world for the past 18 months or so; some may even argue he has been the best player in the world in that period. No matter how talented Bayern’s squad is, they will surely miss their talismanic forward.
The Ligue 1 champions have endured a rather inconsistent campaign so far. Tuchel was sacked, Pochettino was appointed, Mbappe scored his 100th goal for PSG, and Neymar got injured for the UCL Ro16, again. They have been inconsistent on the pitch too, already recording 7 Ligue 1 losses so far this season and at the moment are chasing Lille for the top spot. By contrast, the French side had only lost a cumulative of 8 games in the league across the last 2 seasons.
The Parisians have often struggled for identity this season as they have not fully incorporated Pochettino’s tactics yet. Additionally, they have shown signs of mental frailty as well. The second leg against Barcelona, in particular, exposed PSG’s weaknesses when under pressure. The Catalans dominated the first half and PSG had no response. Some were left wondering what would’ve been if Messi had converted his penalty.
However, they have plenty reason to be optimistic ahead of this tie. While Bayern’s star man, Robert Lewandowski is injured, PSG’s own star man, Neymar Jr, is returning from injury just in time for the clash. The Brazilians return will certainly boost the Parisians chances against the Bavarians. Unfortunately, Marco Veratti, a key player for the team will miss out against Bayern Munich after testing positive for Covid-19.
What to Expect
Both sides come into this clash having faced their nearest league challengers over the weekend. Bayern Munich recorded a vital 1-0 win over RB Leipzig to open up a 7 point lead at the top of the table. Meanwhile, PSG faltered at home to Lille and lost 1-0 with Neymar Jr also being sent off. So, while Bayern managed an impressive victory without their talisman, PSG suffered defeat and witnessed their talisman sent off.
Their fortunes could not be more contrasting.
Bayern Munich is an extremely well-oiled machine and we expect them to dominate this match. PSG will likely struggle, as they did against Barcelona, when facing the Bavarians’ high-press. However, in Neymar, Mbappe, and Di Maria, the Parisians have more than enough quality to hurt Bayern, especially on the counter.
Bayern Win 5-4 on aggregate
The Parisians will largely be on the back foot throughout the duel due to the sheer collective superiority of Bayern Munich. An away goal will be key for PSG; if they can secure an away goal the tie could well and truly be anyones for the taking.
Either way, an absolute electric encounter awaits us and you never know, Eric Choupo-Moting may just end up scoring the winner against his former club.