Preview and Prediction
The Champions League, at last, comes to an end after a long and winding road. The last two teams standing turned out to be the giants from the league which ended the earliest, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga. Le Parisien and Die Roeten are now squaring off for the same target, treble winners in one season. Moreover, it will be an encounter of two German managers in their final debut, Thomas Tuchel on the French side and Hans Flick on the Bavarian side. This clash will also be their first meeting in their managerial career. No wonder that this fixture deserves to be regarded as the true final to mark the closure of 2019/2020 season.
Both teams’ previous matches
PSG finally have their first UCL final in history after dismantling the dark horse, RB Leipzig 3-0. Angel Di Maria was the man of the match with his two assists, for the first goal by Marquinhos’ header plus the last goal by Juan Bernat’s one, and his goal on 42nd minute. Le Parisien became the fifth French team to get through the UCL final in history after Reims, St.Etienne, Marseille and Monaco.
Bayern also secured another berth in the final after thumping Lyon in the identical score, 3-0. Serge Gnarby scored a brace at the first half before Robert Lewandowski’s header closed the scoresheet on the 87th minute. It is their fourth final in a decade after previously in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
Thomas Tuchel has been quite adaptable when it comes to formation. He would deploy it based on the opponents and his team’s circumstance. In this final, Tuchel might consider opting for 4-3-2-1 with the transition to 4-4-2 when necessary. They should close down Serge Gnarby and Ivan Perisic who like to cut inside, cross or even shoot, and never let Thomas Muller have the space to even receive the ball or make his move. Such could isolate Lewandowski who seems less dangerous without any supply from the crosses or passes. On the attacking side, the dynamic forwards would be more useful than the static Icardi. Thus, Di Maria, Neymar and Mbappe are likely to be opted for the starting IX again.
Meanwhile, Hans Flick’s seemingly flawless 4-2-3-1 formation has its own weakness to exploit. Their defensive frailty lies on their defenders lack of speed in covering the swift counter attack. Lyon was quite close to expose it in the previous game. Yet, their poor finish in the penalty box failed them. Furthermore, Flick’s tendency to stick to the same line-up should be a sign that he is not keen on the rotating his squad, unless it’s necessary.
Players to watch
PSG, Neymar is still the top performer with three goals and assists each, alongside the French wonder Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria. Another key man to watch is the versatile Pablo Sarabia, who could be helpful in the quick transition from defending to building the attack here.
On the other hand, Bayern’s predictable key figures are the quarter Lewandowski, Serge Gnarby, Thomas Muller and Leon Goretzka. Lewy would surely like to win his first UCL and add more goals for his collection as the leading top scorer.
PSG vs Bayern Prediction
Neymar and Co should not be feeling inferior here at the final despite their lack of tradition in UCL. They have encountered and defeated them before in 1994/95 and 2017/18 season. All they need to worry is their defence, which needs to be solid and firm, including the goalie. Hopefully Keylor Navas would be fit enough to play in his finals without any possible further injury.