Paris Saint-Germain vs Bayern Munich preview: Who will triumph and be crowned 2020 champions?
Bayern Munich set up an exciting Champions League final clash with Paris Saint Germain after both teams easily justified the favourite tag given to them ahead of their semi-final matches against Lyon and RB Leipzig respectively.
Before last-four stage in the Champions League, we had four thrilling quarter-finals matches filled with upsets and drama, with Lyon ousting Manchester City while Leipzig sent Atletico Madrid out of the competition.
But five-times winners, Bayern Munich, are back in the final for the first time since 2013 after ending a streak of four losses in the semi-final stage with Wednesday’s comfortable 3-0 win over Lyon.
PSG also reached the final for the first time, having struggled to translate their dominance of the French league into a real challenge in Europe until wins in Lisbon over Atalanta and RB Leipzig secured their place.
- Serge Gnabry’s double stirs Bayern Munich into the Champions League final
- PSG through to the Champions League final after coasting past RB Leipzig
It’s also the first time the Champions League final will feature two teams who entered the competition as domestic champions since 1998. Dates back to the days of the old European Cup when only a country’s title winners were allowed to enter.
Bayern and PSG both won their semi-final matches against Lyon and Leipzig with similar scorelines but the difference between both teams is how they conduct themselves in front of goal. The German club were far more reliant on their opponent’s wastefulness in front of goal.
PSG forward Neymar has also been squandering big chances since the competition moved to Portugal, against both Atalanta and Leipzig, and on Sunday night, should he be very wasteful again, he would be the only obstruction standing potentially in the way of completing his mission.
The Brazilian scored in the 2015 final for Barcelona and could join Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic as the third player to score in the final for two different teams. In 19 Champions League appearances for PSG, Neymar has been directly involved in 23 goals, scoring 14 times and assisting nine.
The French champions are desperate to reign in Europe after they spent exorbitant amounts, shattering the world transfer records to bring in Neymar from Barcelona and Kylian Mbappe subsequently making his move from Monaco the following summer.
It would seem that the Parisians are peaking at the opportune moment on the biggest of stages after all their spending.
Who will fortune favour?
Bayern Munich, astonishingly, have only been behind for 22 minutes this calendar year, and an early PSG goal could bring the house down. During their semi-final showdown with Lyon, the French side was the better side in the opening 15 minutes but failed to take their chances.
PSG might not be as generous as they pose very clinical attackers in front of goal.
Tuchel’s side have scored 136 goals this season and often looks to bury teams by half-time.
PSG’s route to the final
|Champions League group stage||PSG 3-0 Real Madrid|
|Champions League group stage||Galatasaray 0-1 PSG|
|Champions League group stage||Club Brugge 0-5 PSG|
|Champions League group stage||PSG 1-0 Club Brugge|
|Champions League group stage||Real Madrid 2-2 PSG|
|Champions League group stage||PSG 5-0 Galatasaray|
|Champions League last 16 first leg||Borussia Dortmund 2-1 PSG|
|Champions League last 16 second leg||PSG 2-0 Borussia Dortmund|
|Champions League quarter-finals||Atalanta 1-2 PSG|
|Champions League semi-finals||RB Leipzig 0-3 PSG|
Bayern’s manager Hansi Flick is only the sixth person to play for and manage the same side in a Champions League final, having played in Bayern’s 2-1 defeat in the 1987 final to Porto, and could be the first of the six to lose as both a player and manager at a single club should Bayern fail to triumph.
“Paris are a great team,” the Bayern coach says. “We will analyse some things, we know they have quick players. We will look to organise our defence, but we know our biggest strength is putting our opponents under pressure.”
PSG will need to be wary of Bayern’s chief marksman Robert Lewandowski, who is the tournament’s top scorer with 15 goals this season and has found the target 55 times in all competitions.
Bayern Munich’s route to the final
|Champions League group stage||Bayern Munich 3-0 Red Star Belgrade|
|Champions League group stage||Tottenham 2-7 Bayern Munich|
|Champions League group stage||Olympiakos 2-3 Bayern Munich|
|Champions League group stage||Bayern Munich 2-0 Olympiakos|
|Champions League group stage||Red Star Belgrade 0-6 Bayern Munich|
|Champions League group stage||Bayern Munich 3-1 Tottenham|
|Champions League last 16 first leg||Chelsea 0-3 Bayern Munich|
|Champions League last 16 second leg||Bayern Munich 4-1 Chelsea|
|Champions League quarter-finals||Barcelona 2-8 Bayern Munich|
|Champions League semi-finals||Bayern Munich 3-0 Lyon|
Thomas Tuchel may likely field the same starting XI that thrashed Leipzig, although, Idrissa Gueye (muscular), Layvin Kurzawa (thigh) and Keylor Navas (thigh) are all doubtful for the final.
PSG will hope goalkeeper Navas and midfielder Marco Verratti can pass a fitness test before the match.
Mauro Icardi might continue his role on the substitutes’ bench after Angel Di Maria excelled on his return to the side.
Jerome Boateng (knock) is the only doubt for Bayern Munich, and should he be declared fit, Flick is likely to field an unchanged team.
Niklas Sule could come in for Boateng if the veteran defender is unable to make the cut. Lucas Hernandez and Javi Martinez are other options.
Stats and facts heading into the match (backed by Opta)
- Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have met eight times previously, all in the UEFA Champions League group stages – Paris SG have won five of those matches, with Bayern winning the other three, including the most recent game in December 2017.
- This is Paris Saint-Germain’s first-ever European Cup/Champions League final, becoming the 41st team to reach the showpiece final. The last six teams competing in their first final have all lost, with the last first-time winner being Borussia Dortmund in 1997 against Juventus.
- Bayern Munich have reached their 11th European Cup/Champions League final, with only Real Madrid playing in more (16). They currently have five titles, the fourth-best tally behind Real Madrid (13), AC Milan (7) and Liverpool (6).
- Paris Saint-Germain have reached only their third major UEFA final, previously doing so in the 1995/96 and 1996/97 Cup Winners’ Cup, winning the former 1-0 against SK Rapid Wien and losing the latter 1-0 to Barcelona.
- Paris SG are the fifth French side to reach a European Cup/Champions League final, and first since Monaco in 2004. Only one of the previous four has been victorious, with Marseille winning 1-0 against AC Milan in the 1993 Champions League final.
- Bayern Munich are looking to become the first team in the history of the European Cup/Champions League to win 11 in a row – the previous two instances of a team winning 10 in a row were Bayern themselves (April-November 2013) and Real Madrid (April 2014-Feb 2015).
- Robert Lewandowski (alongside Serge Gnabry) is looking to become the fifth player to score in the group stage, round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final and final in a season, after Diego Milito (Inter, 2009/10), Messi (Barcelona, 2010/11), Ronaldo (Real Madrid, 2013/14) and Sadio Mané (Liverpool, 2017/18).
Bayern Munich 3-2 Paris Saint Germain