UEFA Champions League final: PSG will beat Bayern Munich, here’s why
After years of massive investments in team, Paris Saint-German (PSG) are one-match away from rewriting their own history when they face Bayern Munich in the final of the 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League on Sunday.
PSG are “charged up” to win their first-ever Champions League trophy against Bayern Munich, who are in the run for their sixth Champions League title.
Hans-Dieter Flick, whose Bayern Munich team has enjoyed a blistering run to the final are clear favourites for the final billed for Estádio Sport Lisboa e Benfica in Lisbon, Portugal but PSG are too dangerous to be written off.
PSG’s Neymar, Mbappe and Di Maria are formidable threats capable of unsettling any team regardless of the shape or the height of the defensive line.
On the other hand, Bayern Munich’s young and experienced team are like a machine and very difficult to stop, but they have shown signs of frailties where they can be hurt.
Bayern’s vulnerable set-up
Both teams have been caught napping in the defence and in midfield and in their run to the final but Bayern Munich have a lot to fear.
The German side plays with such a high line that Mbappe and Neymar should have a field day, using their pace to exploit the space behind the Bayern Munich defence.
Although Bayern are on a 29-game unbeaten run and have already won domestic double different instances in the quarter-final against Chelsea, particularly the second-leg and the semi-final against Lyon showed that they can be hunted when they play against teams that play effective .attacking football like PSG.
Error-prone Bayern defence
Sunday’s final will most likely not be won based on the attacking flair of both sides but their defensive resilience.
So far, PSG have kept seven clean sheets out of ten matches played in the Champions League. Bayern have conceded in five out of ten matches despite out-scoring their opponents. This is likely to have a swing when they play a better defensive and equally attacking side like PSG.
So far, Jerome Boateng and David Alaba combination have looked shaky in recent games, playing against very pacy opposition. In the semi-final against a disjointed Barcelona attack, the duo struggled to be stable when called upon.
But it will be a different ball game when the not-so-quick Boateng will have Mbappe’s pace and techniques to deal with, plus Neymar flair – always inviting a foul from the opposition. In 19 Champions League appearances for PSG, Neymar has been directly involved in 23 goals, scoring 14 times and assisting nine.
Marquinhos, on the other hand, has provided Thomas Tuchel’s PSG with a protective screen to allow the 35-year-old Thiago Silva to complement Presnel Kimpembe.
But how they face an attacking side of Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller’s potency is yet to be seen.
History favours PSG
Bayern Munich and PSG have met eight times previously, all in the UEFA Champions League group stages, the French side have won five of those matches, with Bayern winning the other three, including the most recent game in December 2017.
PSG ran out two-goal winners over Bayern when the two teams met in the group stage of the 1994-95 Champions League in Paris.
The French giants also won when the two teams locked horns in the reverse match back in Germany in November 1994.
Having lost their first two meetings with PSG, Bayern managed to gain some revenge when they next locked horns in the group stage of the 1997-98 Champions League. Indeed, the German giants recorded a thumping 5-1 win on home soil, with Giovane Elber and Carsten Jancker both scoring twice, while Thomas Helmer also registered for Giovanni Trapattoni’s side.
PSG made it three wins from their four matches against Bayern by winning the reverse game in Paris, recording a 3-1 victory.
The two teams again met in the first group stage of the 2000-01 Champions League with PSG winning 1-0 courtesy of a stoppage-time goal from Laurent Leroy.
Bayern had their revenge in Munich, recording a 2-0 victory courtesy of goals from Hasan Salihamidzic and Paulo Sergio.
PSG defeated Bayern in a three-goal win over the Bundesliga giants in the group stages of the 2017-18 Champions League, with Dani Alves, Edinson Cavani and Neymar all on the scoresheet.
Bayern were 3-1 winners when they met in Munich with Robert Lewandowski and Corentin Tolisso (2) on the scoresheet for the hosts, while Kylian Mbappe netted for PSG.
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