Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Bayern Munich go head-to-head in the Champions League final tonight at Lisbon’s Estádio da Luz in what is officially the final match of the football season in Europe after an extended season due to Covid-19.
The Bavarians have been to 10 previous finals, won five and lost the other five but are rated slight favourites for this tie, having scored a staggering 42 goals in 10 games in the competition, including the unbelievable 8-2 mauling of Barcelona in the quarter-final before beating Lyon 3-0 in the semifinals.
However, PSG can match the fire power of the Bavarian’s front man, Robert Lewandowski who has scored 15 goals so far with Kylian Mbappé and the Brazilian magician Neymar. Both players inspired two late goals to overcome Atalanta in the quarter-final before a routine 3-0 win against RB Leipzig to setup a pulsating final.
Interestingly, both teams are in super form and finished their respective leagues in similar fashion. PSG was 12 points ahead when the Ligue 1 was abandoned in France due to the Covid-19 pandemic and were later crowned champions for their seventh title in eight years.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) August 22, 2020
While Bayern Munich finished 13 points clear of Borussia Dortmund to win their eighth Bundesliga title in a row and are currently on a run of 28 wins and one draw in all competitions.
There have been no draws between these two whenever they meet. They have played eight times in the Champions League with PSG winning five with 12 goals scored and Bayern Munich three match, scoring 11 times. Bayern are seeking to join Liverpool on six European Cup wins and become the joint-third most successful club in the competition’s history behind Real Madrid (13 titles) and AC Milan (7). Its most recent win was in 2013 and it also picked up the trophy three years in a row, in 1974, 1975 and 1976, and again in 2001.
PSG is in its first Champions League final. Paris are the 41st club to appear in the European Cup final; they would become the 23rd to win it. They have won one of their three previous European finals but that was in the now scrapped Cup Winners’ Cup where they beat Rapid Wien 1-0 back in 1996.
For Kurzawa and Navas are both struggling with a thigh injury and rated doubtful for the encounter.
Bayern Munich defender, Boateng is rated doubtful with a muscular injury while French World Cup winner Pavard is back in trining after an ankle injury and in contention to start.
PSG: Rico; Kehrer, Thiago Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat; Verratti, Marquinhos, Herrera; Di María, Neymar, Mbappé.
Bayern: Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Goretzka, Thiago; Perišić, Müller, Gnabry; Lewandowski.
Referee: Daniele Orsato. Assistant referees: Lorenzo Manganelli, Alessandro Giallatini. Fourth official: Ovidiu Haţegan. Video Assistant Referee: Massimiliano Irrati.
Thomas Tuchel, Paris coach: “They’re on a unique run at this moment. It’s a mix of young players who are hungry and they also have experience with seasoned campaigners in the side. I speak a lot with Keylor Navas [as a former winner] and we also have Ángel Di María and Neymar who’ve won this competition. It is a slight advantage for Bayern that they’re used to being involved in finals such as this one. However, that won’t be a decisive advantage.”
Hans-Dieter Flick, Bayern coach: “We are going to try to produce our best performance out there and play our best football. Only if we are able to do that, if we are all at 100 per cent in terms of our performance levels, will we be able to win the match. They have only conceded five goals in the Champions League, the least in the competition, so it means their back line works like their front line does. We have a game plan and I hope we can carry it out.”
PSG 2-1 Bayern Munich.