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Champions League Final Preview

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It’s Paris Saint-Germain against Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final

 

Champions League Final Preview

The 2019/20 season is set to finally come to an end this weekend, as PSG take on Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on Sunday. The 5 time winners from Germany face the French side taking part in their first ever Champions League final. Both teams come into the clash in a rich vein of form, as well as an embarrassment of superstars to play.

The Roads to the Final

PSG took control of their group of group A which included Real Madrid. They took 16 points from 18, only conceding in the 2-2 draw at the Bernabéu. The Parisians had a difficult contest in the round of 16 against Borussia Dortmund, losing the 1st leg 2-1 thanks to an inspired Erling Haaland performance. However they turned it around, winning 2-0 at the Parc des Princes to go through 3-2 on aggregate, before the tournament was halted due to Covid-19.

They faced a promising Atalanta side in the quarter final, in the first game of the mini-tournament in Lisbon. After trailing for much of the game, an injury time turnaround thanks to Marquinhos and Choupo-Moting goals saw them through to the semi final. Here they made light work of RB Leipzig to put them within touching distance of their first European trophy since 1997.

Bayern Munich were similarly dominant in their group, winning all 6 of their games, which included that 7-2 demolition of Tottenham. Likewise, Chelsea proved no match for them as they lost 7-1 on aggregate to coast through to the quarter final. A seemingly tough matchup came next against Barcelona, but once again, Bayern showed that they are on a different level, humiliating Barca 8-2.

A promising Lyon side who previously dispatched Man City also couldn’t get the better of the Bavarians, losing 3-0 as Bayern secured a place in their 9th Champions League Final. The goals of Lewandowski and Gnabry have been the talk of the tournament. Their 24 combined goals is just 1 shy of the PSG total in this season’s competition, while Lewandowski will have his eyes on the individual record, currently 2 behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 17.

Team News

Despite missing the semi final against Leipzig, PSG are reportedly confident that Keylor Navas will return to start in goal, looking to become the first goalkeeper to win the Champions League 4 times. Idrissa Gueye was on the bench following a muscle injury, and Layvin Kurzawa is a doubt. Marco Verratti could only manage 10 minutes off the bench in the semis following a calf injury, although he is reportedly fully fit for the game.

Jerome Boateng was forced off at half time in the semi final against Lyon, however should be fit to start. Benjamin Pavard and Kingsley Coman both came off the bench as they continue their returns. Don’t expect too many changes from the respective semi final sides, who both put in very assured performances.

Prediction

Both teams are in fine form coming into the final. Bayern have won a ridiculous 27 of their last 28 games, scoring 97 goals. Meanwhile PSG have won 27 of their last 32, scoring 100 goals in the process. Both sides favour an attacking style, and love to play transitional football, so expect the attackers to be interchanging all the time.

One aspect that struck me from their games so far, is the high line that the Bayern defence plays. But whilst the PSG forwards have the quality to breach this line, and convert chances which Lyon couldn’t do, I would not be surprised if Hansi Flick sets his team up slightly deeper to prevent this happening. This coupled with a devastating attack and experienced players, puts me in favour of Bayern to lift the trophy.

PSG will likely play a bit more passive, as they won’t want to make mistakes when the pressure is on them. It will be a close game, full of midfield battles, but I predict Bayern to show their class, and come out as 2-0 winners. The match starts at 8pm on Sunday, and hopefully it will be a fitting conclusion to Lisbon’s Champions League mini tournament.

 

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Charles graduated from the University of Exeter with a degree in Psychology with Sport and Exercise Science. He has been a football fan his entire life, playing Sunday league football for many years and also 7-a-side whilst at university. Charles is now following his passion by writing football related content. You can contact Charles at: cf.garinet8@hotmail.co.uk

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