Bayern to take advantage of PSG's missing midfield
The two finalists of last season's Champions League competition face off again in 2020/2021, but this time in the quarter finals. Hosts Bayern Munich would've been slight favourites at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night on paper if both sides are at full strength, but with the visitors Paris Saint-Germain missing the base of their first choice midfield, the onus will be on Mauricio Pochettino's charges to glean an away goal to take back to the French capital and have something to hold onto. Read our preview here:
A Kingsley amongst men
Both teams were involved in top of the table clashes in their respective domestic leagues at the weekend with very different fortunes. Bayern managed to squeeze out a win over rivals RB Leipzig in their own backyard, and it was Leon Goretzka who gleaned the solitary goal. In tandem with Joshua Kimmich, he will get up in support of the more attack-minded players in Hansi Flick's 4-2-3-1. Robert Lewandowski won't be available, so Serge Gnabry will take his place, should he overcome his own fitness issues. Either way, the sole striker will be well supported by the three surrounding them, and with the double pivot putting the squeeze on PSG's passing lanes, there are likely to be overloads centrally. Equally, FC Hollywood are a threat on the wings, with Kingsley Coman almost rivalling Thomas Müller in terms of output as a creator. The French forward is now one of the first names on the teamsheet thanks to his direct running and accurate, low crosses.
Fiery Neymar or on fire Neymar?
Giants PSG lost a tempestuous match 1-0 to Lille, a match in which both sides finished with 10 men after red cards were issued in injury time. LOSC have now opened a three point gap over Pochettino's men, but in the absence of his own first choice double pivot, as well as Alessandro Florenzi (who tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from international duty with Italy), it will be about absorbing as much of Bayern's attacking thrust as possible, and then hitting them on the break. Neymar was the man who was dismissed, and neither he nor his teammates can afford a repeat of that as he resumes his place on the big stage. The key will be linking the wildly dangerous front four with the rest of the XI. If they are cut off, it could be a long night, even taking into account their wealth of talent in attacking areas.
Go, go, magic Flick!
With the German FA still to appoint a replacement for outgoing Joachim Löw, most fingers are still squarely pointed at Flick, who has won everything there is to with Bayern in a very short expanse of time. At 56, this could be his only shot at managing the national side after the curtain comes down on a delayed Euro 2020 this summer. Besting PSG once more will only further enhance his supremely good CV, and the absences in the ranks of the visitors will hurt them dearly. betway have odds of 2.00 for the hosts to have the advantage after the first leg.