Why Bayern Munich are primed to win the Champions League
*Bayern Munich will face PSG in the final act of the pandemic-altered Champions League.*
However the final ends, we will always remember the 2019/2020 Champions League season. It was special. The pandemic break, one-legged knockout stages and a fiercely ruthless Bayern Munich side.
The final in Lisbon has the potential to be a fitting denouement to a season that threatened a cliffhanger. Petro-dollar backed PSG could finally get their first Champions League trophy bringing a crowning moment to billions of dollars in investment after years of heartache and disappointment.
For Bayern, it will be a story of efficiency and ruthlessness that delivers their second European treble.
“In the dressing room there were no cries of joy, no scenes of jubilation – we’re already focused on the final,” said Joshua Kimmich after defeating Lyon.
Watching a well-oiled Bayern side barring down on the goal of the opponent is a truly remarkable experience. Whether it’s working the channels, or shuffling through the middle. Each experience is heightened by the relative ease with which they create a high volume of chances. Bayern have averaged 4.2 goals per game in the Champions League this season.
Bayern Munich have been the best side in the Champions League blitzing past tough opposition with shocking ease.
Hansi Flick’s side have Chelsea and Barcelona and Lyon in their rearview, showing how dominant they are.
Bayern’s ruthless attack
They run hard, press hard and are constantly probing the opposition. The frontline that includes Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry. Both forwards have 24 goals between them.
With his 15 goals this season — two shy of Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 17 goals — Lewandowski has shown he is the world’s most potent striker. His unique blend of precision, power and positioning will be a handful for the pairing of experienced Thiago Silva and the less assured Presnel Kimpembe.
Aside his pace and directness, Gnabry’s emphatic finish against Lyon with his weaker left foot punctuated how dangerous he is in the attacking third. His strength and commitment to the attacking press also mean he can easily force turnovers or rob defenders of the ball as he did against Barcelona.
Juan Bernat will need to be at his best to stop the former Arsenal winger.
While Ivan Perisic completes the frontline, Thomas Muller makes the attack tick. The Bundesliga assist record holder funnels the ball into the attack exploiting pockets of spaces in and around the box while playing behind Lewandowski.
Full back revolution: Davies and Kimmich
Alphonso Davies is a bit of an enigma. Nominally, the 19-year-old Canadian is pegged as a left-back but the interpretation of his role and involvement in attack leaves you wondering. His majestic 19-touch dribble against Barcelona might not be popular amongst purists that prefer left-backs keeping it simple. But Davies doesn’t do simple. He beat Nelson Semedo cleanly on the wings, advanced into the box before he squared the ball to fellow fullback Joshua Kimmich at the centre of the box to sweep home.
Two fullbacks delivering excellently for their side. Admittedly, there are risks to having marauding fullbacks prone to leaving spaces behind, but there are rewards when the fullbacks shun convention.
The strength and depth of Bayern Munich’s is astonishing and it provides Flick’s side with another advantage heading to the final. The possibility of a game-changing substitution is improved when the substitutes are almost as good as the starting lineup.
World Cup winners Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez have had to settle for places on the bench despite their immense quality. The streaky Kingsley Coman can easily turn a game on its head with his pace and trickery. Phillipe Coutinho came off the bench against Barcelona to score two goals and provide one assist in 15 minutes.
Compared to the PSG bench despite Eric Choupo-Moting’s heroics against Atalanta, Bayern’s has more quality to inject from the sidelines when things may be going awry on the pitch.
In all, the final will be an exciting one, rippling with energy despite the ostensible lack of spectators in the stadium. Expect a high octane game with goals.
Prediction: PSG 2-4 Bayern Munich
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