Last season’s Champions League finalists are reunited in 2021, this time at the quarterfinal stage.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of a heavyweight showdown between Bayern Munich and PSG, kicking off at 21:00 CAT.
Nearly eight months have passed since Kingsley Coman propelled Bayern to European glory with a 1-0 win over PSG in last season’s showpiece and the two sides arrive here in contrasting shape.
Bayern’s quest for a ninth consecutive Bundesliga crown was boosted by a 1-0 win over nearest challengers RB Leipzig.
PSG, on the other hand, fell to Lille last time out in Ligue 1 and it looks like a three-way scrap in the French top-flight this season.
Bayern imperious in Europe and at home
With 18 wins from their last 19 UCL outings, the exception being a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on December 1st – Bayern could become only the second team in history to notch a 20-match unbeaten run in the tournament, following in the footsteps of Man United between 2007 and 2009.
The German giants have not tasted defeat on their own patch in any competition since a 2-1 reverse against Bayer Leverkusen in November 2019.
Mbappé always a threat
PSG’s 4-1 win against Barcelona at the Nou Camp felt like a “changing of the guard” moment with Kylian Mbappé hit a stunning hat-trick to send PSG to the last eight for just the second time in the past five seasons.
The 22-year-old Frenchman has scored before halftime in three consecutive Champions League outings, a sequence in which he became the youngest player in the history of the competition to hit the 25-goal mark.
PSG dangerous on the road
Mauricio Pochettino’s men have won their last seven away assignments across all competitions, scoring 19 goals and conceding just three in that sequence. They’ve also triumphed in five of their last six Champions League games behind enemy lines.
With Robert Lewandowski already ruled out, Hansi Flick must also do without Serge Gnabry who returned a positive Covid test. Corentin Tolisso and Douglas Costa are the other absentees for the hosts.
Cameroonian striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is likely to lead the line against some familiar faces; he was part of the PSG side that went down in the final last season in Lisbon.
Likely XI (4-2-3-1):
Neuer; Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Sané, Müller, Coman; Choupo-Moting
Playmaker Leandro Paredes is suspended, midfield lynchpin Marco Verratti has Coronavirus and Danilo Pereira is struggling to prove his fitness, so it’s likely that Ander Herrera will form a double-pivot alongside combative Senegalese star Idrissa Gueye.
Fullbacks Alessandro Florenzi (Covid) and Layvin Kurzawa (calf) are both ruled out. Moise Kean should get the nod up top ahead of Mauro Icardi who’s still working his way back to fitness.
Likely XI (4-2-3-1):
Navas; Kehrer, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Diallo; Herrera, Gueye; Di María, Neymar, Mbappé; Kean
- Bayern has netted 2+ goals in 12 straight competitive games at the Allianz Arena (W10 D2), and 2+ before halftime in three of the last four.
- PSG attacker Kylian Mbappé has scored before halftime in three consecutive UCL matches.
- Only one of Bayern’s last 22 games was goalless at halftime.
- PSG’s 4-1 hammering of Barcelona forms part of a seven-match winning run on the road, although it was also PSG’s third straight UCL away outing in which they conceded before halftime.
- Only Lazio and Inter Milan have received more yellow cards than PSG in the Champions League this season (22), while the Parisians have also been shown two red cards.
- Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz has brandished 20 yellow cards in his four UCL matches this term, whilst also showing 64 cards in the 14 LaLiga games he has overseen, producing an average of 4.67 cards per match.