Paris Saint-Germain will host Bayern Munich at Parc des Princes for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday. The two sides faced each other in the quarterfinals of the competition two seasons ago, with PSG progressing on away goals.
Paris Saint-Germain faces a tough challenge in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 as they take on Bayern Munich on Tuesday. The game comes at a crucial time for the Ligue 1 leaders, who have been in poor form lately, losing two successive games in the Coupe de France and Ligue 1. While they are still five points clear in the league, their UCL campaign has taken on added significance as they aim to keep their hopes of winning a second European title alive.
Mbappe’s return a major boost for PSG
Despite initial reports suggesting that Kylian Mbappe would miss the game due to a thigh injury, the French striker has been included in the matchday squad and could make a surprise return for the Parisians. This is a huge boost for PSG, who have struggled without him in recent games. His return to the team will give them a much-needed attacking threat, as he has scored an impressive 25 goals in 26 competitive appearances for PSG this season.
Messi and Verratti also set to feature in the playing 11
In addition to Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Marco Verratti are also expected to make the cut for the Bayern game, having been named in the matchday squad on Monday. Messi has been in fine form for PSG this season, scoring 15 goals in 22 games across all competitions, while Verratti’s return from injury will give the midfield a boost. The Italian has missed a large part of the season due to injury, but his return could prove crucial for PSG in the UCL.
Bayern’s impressive form
Bayern Munich, on the other hand, have been in fine form since club action resumed post-FIFA 2022 World Cup in Germany. Julian Nagelsmann’s side are on a three-game winning streak across all competitions and have not lost a game since December. In fact, they were the only team in the 2022-23 Champions’ League group stage to win every single match, scoring 18 goals and conceding just twice.
Kimmich integral to Bayern’s success
One player who has been integral to Bayern’s success this season is Joshua Kimmich. The midfielder has been heavily involved in their attacking open-play sequences across all competitions, with a team-high 183 sequence involvements. Of those, 119 (65%) have seen him only involved in the build-up to a shot. While his attacking output has been relatively low this season (three goals, four assists), his work in the midfield has been crucial to the way Nagelsmann’s side play.
PSG’s unbeaten home form
It’s worth mentioning PSG’s impressive home form, having gone unbeaten in their last 40 home games across all competitions. Their last loss at Parc des Princes was in April 2021 against Manchester City in the Champions League. They have also scored in 23 successive home games in all competitions, at an average of 2.56 goals per game.
Bayern aiming for history
Bayern Munich will be looking to win their first seven matches in a single UCL campaign for just the second time, after their astonishing 2019-20 campaign in which they won all 11 games. They will be hoping to continue their impressive run of form and extend PSG’s recent poor form.
The PSG vs Bayern Munich game promises to be a highly entertaining encounter, with both teams boasting some of the best attacking talents in the world. PSG will be hoping that the return of Mbappe, Messi, and Verratti will give them the edge, but they will need to be at their best to overcome a formidable Bayern side. With so much at stake, this game is sure to provide plenty of drama and excitement.