No love lost on Valentine's Day between giants
The draw for the last 16 of the 2022/2023 UEFA Champions League has thrown up some very intriguing clashes, and perhaps none more so than 2020 finalists Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich facing off against each other. The first leg takes place at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night, with the hosts in the unusual position of having lost their last two domestic games against big rivals Marseille (in the Coupe de France) and Monaco (in Ligue 1) respectively. Meanwhile, FC Hollywood are only a point above surprise challengers Union Berlin at the Bundesliga summit, so both teams will be looking to use this occasion to assert some dominance. Read our preview here:
Hak-ing and wheezing
Christophe Galtier's illness ravaged squad were beaten 3-1 by the principality side at the weekend, and will remain without the likes of Kylian Mbappé, Renato Sanches, and Nordi Mukiele for the first leg at least. Elsewhere, Achraf Hakimi will bomb forwards and provide all of the width alongside Nuno Mendes to the two-pronged attack of Neymar and Leo Messi if the latter can shake off a hamstring injury in time. Carlos Soler will fill in for Mendes down the left if Bayern break at speed, whilst Danilo Pereira will be tasked with holding the three-man midfield unit together in the face of one of the best attacks in men's football.
Pav at it
The loan signing of Manchester City's João Cancelo has further boosted Julian Nagelsmann's options at full-back, with the temporary capture of the versatile Portuguese international set to become permanent in the summer for a hefty fee. It allows Benjamin Pavard to continue to carve out a niche in a more central position, where his task will be to show Neymar out wide and keep him far apart from Messi. His excellent ball control and range of passing helps open up options from his relatively new vantage point to spring counters. The visitors will remain without Sadio Mané for the entirety of the tie, but will still have the evergreen Thomas Müller as the nominal spearhead, peeling off his marker and creating space for Jamal Musiala to bring Leroy Sané and Serge Gnabry to bear down on the home side's back four.
bet365 have odds of 3.75 for a relatively cagey first leg ending in a draw, with neither team at their scintillating best.