Holders Bayern München are reunited with the side they beat to win the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League final. They host Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg match today, Wednesday 7 April at 7:00pm.
Bayern Munich are without striker Robert Lewandowski, who has been ruled out of today’s first leg with a knee injury. The winger Serge Gnabry has also tested positive for coronavirus thus unavailable for today’s game. Even without Lewandowski- the 2020 FIFA Best Men’s Player, the holders are targeting a repeat of last season’s final success. With away goals in play, Hans-Dieter Flick will be looking for a sturdy defensive performance to nullify PSG’s attacking threat.
Conversely, PSG who spectacularly dispatched Barcelona in the last 16, thanks to Kylian Mbappé’s hat-trick, prepare to welcome back Neymar. However, Marco Verratti and Alessandro Florenzi will sit out of the first-leg tie after returning positive coronavirus tests.
Speaking ahead of the clash, Flick is wary of a side under new stewardship in Mauricio Pochettino – in particular, the speed of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
“I don’t think that game matters anymore. We want to reach the semi-finals and the final. That is our aim.
“They have a solid defence, a very good goalkeeper, but up front they have enormous quality. If we lose possession then we have to stop them quickly. We also have to put them under pressure early”Han-Pieters Flick
Pochettino’s side slumped to a 1-0 home defeat to Lille in the league last time. However, the former Tottenham boss is in a bullish mood about his side’s chances in Europe.
“We’re playing the champions of Europe and of the world. We respect them, but we have faith in our ability and we’ve come here to win.”Mauricio Pochettino
Key statistics ahead of the clash
Today’s game will be the 10th UEFA Champions League meeting between Bayern Munich and PSG . This is only the second meeting in the knockout phase after last season’s final. Overall, despite last season’s final defeat, Paris have the edge with five wins to Bayern’s four.
In this season, Bayern have remained unbeaten to reach their record 19th UEFA Champions League quarter-final. This is one more than Barcelona, with whom they previously shared the competition record. Conversely, Paris have won 17 of their last 26 UEFA Champions League matches (D4 L5).
Today’s clash is the third time PSG have drawn the reigning champions of the UEFA Champions League in the knockout stages. They lost both legs on both previous occasions – the 1994-95 semi-final against AC Milan and 2017-18 last 16 against Real Madrid. Bayern have won all eight home UEFA Champions League matches since losing to Liverpool.
Moreover, Bayern have reached the Champions League final 11 times. Meanwhile, PSG- who have never lifted the trophy – have only gone beyond the quarter-finals twice. Bayern’s record in the competition since Flick took charge reads 54 goals scored and only 11 conceded across 15 wins and one draw. Mauricio Pochettino’s only previous UEFA Champions League match against Bayern Munich was with Spurs in October 2019, losing 7-2.