Bayern Munich have regained their rhythm with three successive victories so far this month. But a trickier test awaits at Parc des Princes on Tuesday night when they would lock horns with Paris St-Germain in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 encounter.
These two European superpowers have clashed heads frequently in the recent past. They won their respective home games in the group stage of the 2017-18 season, but the Bavarians conquered their 6th European silverware defeating PSG in the 2019-20 final. Paris won the quarterfinal tie on away goals (agg: 3-3) the following campaign, and they will contest once again in the coming days (over two legs) with a view to maximising their title hope in Europe.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Bayern Munich Lineup To Face Paris St-Germain
A broken leg has ended Manuel Neuer’s season and the German giants, therefore, roped in Yann Sommer during the winter window. The Swiss custodian, expected to feature between the sticks, must exhibit his resolve against the French champions.
Although the likes of Lucas Hernandez and Noussair Mazraoui are sidelined due to their respective long-term fitness concerns, Bayern Munich have got ample options in the defensive third with surprise January recruit Joao Cancelo expected to operate as the right fullback. Dayot Upamecano and Matthijs de Ligt are likely to partner themselves in the heart of the backline, also Alphonso Davies should grab the starting status down the left ahead of Daley Blind.
Julian Nagelsmann must opt for a ‘double pivot’ containing Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka to keep the balance between defence and midfield. Ryan Gravenberch is a major doubt with a bruised knee and would undergo a late fitness test before the trip.
Serge Gnabry could get the nod over Leroy Sane on the right-hand flank, but the majestic run of form makes Jamal Musiala irreplaceable as a midfield playmaker. Thomas Muller sustained a calf strain versus Bochum, however, the veteran attacker might be back for the Paris tie and should keep switching his role with Musiala to frustrate the home side. Kingsley Coman would make it to the starting XI if Muller fails to recover in time.
The absence of Sadio Mane is a massive setback for Bayern. The Senegalese ace is yet to regain match fitness since suffering a knee injury before FIFA World Cup. Nevertheless, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has been a revelation this term and is likely to spearhead the attack against his former club.