Saturday, August 20, 2022

What Bayern Munich Must Do To Secure A Win Over PSG In The Champions League?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

The 2019/20 edition of the Champions League will finally come to a conclusion on Sunday as Bayern Munich take on Paris Saint-Germain, at the Estadio Da Luz. The Bavarians are tipped as favourites, but given the strength of PSG, they must remain cautious and make a proper game-plan. In this article, we will discuss three things Bayern must do to win the Champions League tomorrow.

A deep defensive line

Bayern Munich’s high defensive line wasn’t as effective against Lyon as it was in the game against Barcelona or Chelsea. It should serve as a warning sign for Hansi Flick, especially now when his defence will come up against attacking superstars like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria.

All of those three individuals are capable of making darting runs in behind the backline and have the pace to outrun both David Alaba and Jerome Boateng.

With that in mind, it is perhaps a better idea for Flick to adopt a deep defensive line. A conservative press like they did during the final phase of the first-half against Lyon should go a long way in minimising the defensive frailties this weekend, knowing that Bayern defenders are more than capable of besting the PSG attackers in terms of physical and aerial duels.

Focus on the middle

Despite having Verratti injured, PSG are unlikely to change their strategy, which revolves around gaining possession and creating chances from the more central areas of the pitch.

Bayern Munich, in that regard, could use that as a weakness and instead of adopting a high defensive backline, they could ask the midfielders to cut off passing lanes in the middle of the park. It was a method used by Borussia Dortmund in the Round of 16.

Three things Bayern must do to win the Champions League - Can these two stick to their task?
MUNICH, GERMANY – AUGUST 07: David Alaba (L) and Jerome Boateng of FC Bayern Muenchen run during a training session ahead of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match against Chelsea FC at Saebener Strasse training ground on August 07, 2020, in Munich, Germany. (Photo by FC Bayern – Handout/Getty Images)

Bayern Munich do possess much more clinical forwards like Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski, meaning any turnover can lead to a potential scoring opportunity.

A three-man midfield

To properly implement an intelligent second line of the press, Flick must sacrifice some of his offensive firepowers this weekend. Fortunately, the German coach does have options at his disposal.

Thomas Muller can slot into an attacking midfield position alongside Leon Goretzka. While the in-form attacker may not be as agile and athletic as his teammates, he certainly knows how to press.

Alternatively, Flick can bring Benjamin Pavard back into the starting lineup. The Frenchman could feature at right-back, which will allow Joshua Kimmich to return to his duties as a holding midfielder.

Kimmich’s presence in the number six slot would undoubtedly provide the much-needed solidity in the middle of the park. However, given Pavard’s lack of game-time, it could be a risky option.

One way or another, Flick has to make this decision.

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