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Battle of the best

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PSG vs Bayern Munich preview

After 104 days, the UEFA Champions League is back as 16 teams face off in the round of 16, which starts on February 14. The competition has already seen significant shocks as major contenders Barcelona and Juventus were eliminated. On the other hand, Eintracht Frankfurt, Club Brugge, and Benfica sparing up a major surprise by qualifying for the knockout round. 

And the round of 16 has also thrown up some major clashes. There is the clash between Red Bull Leipzig and Manchester City. Then there is the rematch of last year’s final between Liverpool and Real Madrid. Another big match is between German giant Borussia Dortmund and 2020-21 champions Chelsea.

However, the biggest match out of them all is the rematch of the 2019-20 final between Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich. While the Bavarians topped their group, winning all of their six matches, including triumphs at Camp Nou against Barcelona and San Siro against Inter Milan. 

Paris Saint Germain were also close to topping their group, but Benfica’s 6-1 win meanest they had to settle for the second spot. This has handed them the most challenging clash against a rampant Bayern Munich. The Germans got their form back in their last three matches, defeating Wolfsburg and Bochum in the Bundesliga and Mainz in DFB Pokal. 

Paris Saint Germain also have been brilliant and boast a five-point lead at the top of the table in Ligue 1. However, despite their domestic exploits, the Champions League is a tournament where they have always struggled. 

They had come close in 2020 but were denied their first trophy by none other than Bayern Munich. However, they got their revenge the following season by knocking out the Bavarians in the round of 16. 

The match is a high octane with top stars such as Neymar, Lionel Messi, Marco Verratti, Sadio Mane, Manuel Neuer, Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sane on the show at Parc des Princes. 

PSG vs Bayern Munich team news 

The main concern for Paris Saint Germain was the injury status of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Marco Verratti. Less than a week back, all three were expected to miss the clash. However, now Messi has been back in training and, along with Verratti, Is expected to be fit for the clash. However, Mbappe, at best, could be on the bench. Other players to miss out are Renato Sanches and Nordi Mukiele, while a call on Fabian Ruiz’s fitness will only be taken before the match starts. 

PSG Expected Line-up: Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Ramos; Mendes; Ruiz, Pereira, Verratti; Soler; Messi, Neymar

Meanwhile, the biggest miss for Bayern Munich will be their goalkeeper Manuel Neuer who broke his leg while skiing back in December and will miss the rest of the season. However, Bayern Munich have signed the perfect replacement for the German in the Swiss international Yann Sommer.

Other players who will miss the clash are Ryan Gravenberch, Noussair Mazraoui, Lucas Hernandez and Sadio Mane. However, Bayern Munich also have a world-class full-back in Joao Cancelo, who will be tasked with containing Neymar on the left wing.

Bayern Munich Predicted Line-up: Sommer; Cancelo, De Ligt, Upamecano, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Sane, Musiala, Coman; Choupo-Moting

Key Players 

Paris Saint Germain boasts a plethora of world-class stars who, on their day, can turn any match around. However, none have been more influential than Lionel Messi. The Argentine won his first World Cup back in December against France. And his form has not dropped since returning from Qatar, as he has helped PSG establish a sizeable lead in Ligue 1. Messi has scored four goals and provided four assists which shows his importance in the team.

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There has been no particular star for Bayern Munich, as several of them have taken turns to shine for their team. However, the heart of the team is Joshua Kimmich, who has been the orchestrator-in-chief for the Bavarians. And he will be returning from suspension against PSG to ensure the team dominate the midfield battle and nullify PSG’s attacking threat. 

PSG vs Bayern Munich predictions 

For one of the two teams, it will be a disappointing end to their Champions League campaign. However, at the top level, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best teams. And that will be on the mind of the players of both teams as they look to get the edge over their rivals in the first leg of the clash. 

While PSG will have the home crowd support, which will be a massive boost for them, Bayern Munich have proven time and again that they are more than capable of going toe-to-toe on their away trips.

FootTheBall predicts a 1-1 draw for the match.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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