- FC Bayern Munich enter their second leg matchup with Paris Saint-Germain with a slender one-goal advantage.
- The most anticipated tie of the Champions League round of 16 will conclude on Wednesday night but both sides will be without key players such as Manuel Neuer, Neymar and Presnel Kimpembe for the clash.
- Christophe Galtier saw his side’s undefeated streak at this year’s competition end after the 1-0 first leg defeat but all is not lost as they head to the Allianz Arena.
Bayern will be without defender Lucas Hernandez as he recovers from long-term injury suffered at the World Cup, whilst fellow defender Benjamin Pavard will be suspended after being dismissed late on in the first leg. Goalkeeper Neuer is also still recovering from a broken leg so Yann Sommer will continue in his absence.
However, the positive news is that Sadio Mane has returned for the German outfit and has featured off the bench in both of Bayern’s previous two matches. He could be pushing for a start here.
PSG will be without one of their star attacking talents in Neymar as he is set to undergo ankle surgery that will keep him out for the rest of the campaign. Defender Kimpembe will also miss out after being unavailable for the last match against Nantes due to an achilles tendon issue.
Some minor doubts remain for the likes of Marquinhos and Nordi Mukiele, with both players picking up knocks over the weekend. The Brazilian is set to feature here, nonetheless, but more question marks surround Mukiele since he has been missing from training this week.
Achraf Hakimi has missed the last three games after battling a hamstring injury. However, he is expected to be available for the second leg, despite facing rape allegations which the Moroccan international has denied.
Star midfielder Marco Verratti is set to return to the starting lineup after serving his domestic suspension against Nantes last time out. He will likely join Fabian Ruiz and Vitinha in the middle of the park.
Champions League Form
The Parisians were by far from full strength against Bayern in the first leg, with Kylian Mbappe being forced to start the game from the bench. However, the Frenchman has played the full 90 minutes in all three matches since and looks ready to go for the all-important second leg as PSG search for their maiden Champions League trophy.
Lionel Messi was also an injury doubt heading into the first leg but managed to play the full 90 minutes. He has also played all three of PSG’s matches in their entirety so he will be back to full fitness.
The visitors looked in control in Paris in the first leg until the arrival of Mbappe. The 24-year-old changed the complexity of the match when he was introduced with just over half an hour to go and his return to full fitness will likely be crucial here.
However, Bayern have won all seven of their Champions League fixtures played so far this season and home support this time around will try and help see them through to the quarter-finals, especially since they are yet to concede a single goal at home during this year’s European campaign.
Julian Nagelsmann’s men were dominant at the group stages and victories at the Allianz Arena over tough competition such as Inter and Barcelona see them enter this one as favourites. They will also be seeking for an improved outing to last year’s competition where they were eliminated by Villarreal at the quarter-finals.
UCL 22/23 Key Stats:
Goals For: Bayern 19, PSG 16
Goals Against: Bayern 2, PSG 7
Both Teams To Score %: Bayern 14.3%, PSG 85.7%
Over 2.5 Goals %: Bayern 42.9%, PSG 57.1%
The battle between the German and French heavyweights continues. The pair just love clashing in Europe as the best of the best meet once more. PSG’s last visit to Munich resulted in a 3-2 victory, with Mbappe scoring a brace in the first leg of the 2021 quarter-final tie. With their star forward now back to full strength, the French side should have confidence in overturning their first leg deficit this time around.
Although Bayern have recorded 1-0 victories in both of their last two meetings with PSG, the win in the second leg of the 2021 quarter-finals wasn’t enough for them to reach the last four. They will be looking for a much better defensive performance at the Allianz Arena this time around to secure their spot in the quarter-finals.
PSG bounced back from their defeat to Bayern by registering three wins from three in Ligue Un. A late Messi free-kick sent the Parc des Princes into raptures as he secured a dramatic 4-3 victory against Lille, before Galtier’s side recorded an impressive 3-0 win away to second-placed Marseille and a 4-2 home win over Nantes.
Their star players have also rediscovered their best form too, with both Messi and Mbappe scoring a combined eight goals in their last three games. The Argentine has scored three goals and assisted twice, whilst Mbappe has scored five goals and played a hand in another two as well.
The German champions are certainly not as dominant as they have been in recent years. They followed up their first leg victory with a 3-2 defeat away to Borussia Mönchengladbach, which also saw them pick up red cards in back-to-back games.
However, they did respond to the loss by picking up respective wins over Union Berlin and Stuttgart. That sees them return to the summit of the Bundesliga standings but the title race is certainly a close one this year, with Borussia Dortmund hot on their tail in second, level on points.
Prediction & Suggested Bets
Bayern 1-2 PSG @ 12/1 The form of Mbappe and Messi cannot be ignored and PSG are desperate for Champions League success. The injury to Neymar will likely rally the troops and so we can see the French side coming away with a victory here.
Kylian Mbappe To Score Anytime @ 8/5 Mbappe has been on fire and his form has come just at the right time. His five goals in his last three games will certainly give him the momentum to clutch once again for his side and we are tipping him to get the business done in Munich. He caused the Bayern defence all sorts of problems in his first leg cameo too.
Marco Verratti To Be Carded @ 6/5 The Italian midfielder loves a yellow card and has picked up eight in just 19 Ligue Un appearances so far this season, as well as four in six Champions League matches. He will be well full of energy for the pivotal clash after missing the Nantes match due to suspension.
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