The dominant champions of France and Germany respectively have fared well during this mini-tournament in Portugal that saw all ties from the last-eight onwards played as one-legged knockout clashes and will now go head to head for the famous big ears trophy behind closed doors at Benfica’s Estadio da Luz.
French champions PSG have never lifted the Champions League before, finally ending their semi-final exile after 25 years after a dramatic late comeback win over plucky Italians underdogs Atalanta in the quarter-finals and a comfortable 3-0 defeat of the Germany outfit RB Leipzig last time out. They also eliminated Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 prior to lockdown, having topped Group A ahead of Real Madrid.
Bayern, meanwhile, is five-time champions of Europe but have not tasted success on this stage since 2013. They eased past the French outfit Olympique Lyon in the semi-final after producing a ruthless 8-2 quarter-final demolition of Barcelona in the quarter-final, all of which came after they completed a 7-1 aggregate defeat of Chelsea in their quarter-final meeting and cruised to the summit of Group B without dropping a single point.
Team News from both Bayern Munich and Paris St Germain
Bayern skipper Jerome Boateng was replaced by Niklas Sule in the second half against Olympique Lyon, with head coach Hansi Flick later revealing that the experienced defender was suffering from muscular problems in his press conference. However, he is expected to be fit to start the final, while Benjamin Pavard is also available again after making a late semi-final appearance. Hansi also revealed that he was not happy about the defense vulnerabilities exposed in their previous match and was ready to change the backline.
PSG had their most potent attacking trio restored when they faced off against RB Leipzig in their semi-final with Kylian Mbappe fit to start and Angel Di Maria back from suspension, though Idrissa Gana Gueye dropped to the bench due to injury, with Leandro Paredes taking his place in midfield.
Outgoing captain Thiago Silva also featured for the duration after a knock, while Marco Verratti got a few minutes under his belt after a calf problem and Layvin Kurzawa also made the matchday squad. Former Fulham loanee Sergio Rico deputized in goal for PSG after first-choice Keylor Navas suffered a torn hamstring in the quarter-finals, but the latter is hopeful of being ready for Sunday’s showpiece.
Prediction: PSG 3-4 Bayern Munich
This is an incredibly difficult final to call, with both sides boasting hugely potent attacking units that can swing a game on any given day.
Prolific Bayern has been absurdly consistent over recent months, clocking up 28 wins from 29 matches since December 2019, yet Lyon did have their chances before falling behind for good in Wednesday’s semi-final contest.
Likewise, PSG was fortunate not to suffer another embarrassing quarter-final exit at the hands of Atalanta, so neither defense is impregnable.
Hopefully, we can expect a high-scoring and wildly entertaining contest that is likely to be decided by the odd goal. Bayern will rely on their talismanic striker Robert Lewandoski again to win this final while PSG will have to count on their in-form playmaker Neymar and recently returned striker Mbappe if they are to beat the Bravians.
Bayern will prove to be a tough challenge for the Parisans and edge PSG in their 11th final and join Liverpool to become the joint-third most successful club in Champions League history with a sixth crown.
Head to head (H2H) history and results
These two teams have met on eight previous occasions – all between 1994 and 2017 in the Champions League group stages. PSG have won five of those contests, with Bayern emerging triumphant on three occasions.
The most recent tournament meeting was three years ago when the Parisians won 3-0 at home before losing 3-1 in Bavaria in groups stage of the 2017 Champions League campaign.
Author: Alvin Musiime
Alvin is a sports writer and a big fan of anything that involves the sports scene. He finds joy in keeping everyone updated about the daily ins and outs of sports.