Bayern vs Paris Saint-Germain – Tuesday, December 5, 19:45GMT/20:45CET – Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
The first leg between the two sides was the catalyst of Bayern München’s Bundesliga revival. Taken apart by Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Co. Bayern were defeated 3-0 and were fortunate to not lose by a wider margin. As a result, President Uli Hoeneß and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge did the unthinkable by relieving head Carlo Ancelotti from his duties as head coach.
It was the earliest that Bayern had fired their head coach in Bundesliga history and the club had another surprise up their sleeve. Although it was speculated that Thomas Tuchel would take over it was 2013 treble winning head coach Jupp Heynckes, who came back to his club after a four-year abstinence. It was a decision that proved to be decisive.
Under Heynckes Bayern won nine out of ten games in all competitions. In the Bundesliga, Bayern have once again taken the pole position and now lead the league by six points. Bayern’s run paints over the fact that the side was not always convincing under Heynckes either. The two victories over Leipzig, in the cup and the league, were aided by referee decisions. Furthermore, recent games against Anderlecht, where they won, Gladbach, which ended in defeat and their 3-1 victory over Hannover highlighted that Bayern are far from the über team they were just a couple years ago.
Paris will, therefore, be the ultimate test for Jupp Heynckes, who has told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday “we must win this game no matter what.” PSG invested €400 million in just two players—Neymar and Kylian Mbappé—this summer and is currently under investigation by UEFA. Possible future sanctions will do little to hurt PSG this season, who are already early favourites to win the Champions League. But a recent defeat to Strasbourg highlights that the French side is beatable. Furthermore, Bayern will be motivated to show critiques that the club is still among the best in Europe.
Bayern vs Paris Saint-Germain – Players to look out for:
Thomas Müller #25 – Bayern München
Thomas Müller is back. The 28-year-old made his comeback this weekend against Hannover and was one of the key players in Bayern’s 3-1 victory. A constant danger on the right-wing Müller played five key passes and produced a cross that led to Arturo Vidal’s opening goal in the 17th minute. Müller also had a couple of chances to further build on Bayern’s lead, and Jupp Heynckes later told the media that it would only be a matter of time until Müller will become an effective striker again. His coach, of course, hopes that Müller’s goal-scoring instinct will return in the big clash on Tuesday night.
Neymar #10 – Paris Saint-Germain
Signed from Barcelona this summer for €220 million Neymar is the most expensive player in football history. With his help, PSG’s Qatari owners hope that the club from Paris can become a worldwide recognised football brand. Neymar has certainly helped increase the club’s brand, but by any account, the Brazilian will never be able to increase the clubs brand ever enough to earn back the money spent on his transfer. But at least the striker has propelled the club to a new dimension on the field. Having scored 15 goals in 17 appearances for Paris Neymar has led the club to the top of their Champions League group and also the French Ligue 1.
Bayern vs Paris Saint-Germain – Match Stats
- The teams have met in seven previous matches—all in the UEFA Champions League group stage—and all but one of those contests were won by the home side.
- The most recent encounters before this season came in the first group stage in 2000-01—a campaign that culminated in Bayern winning the competition for the fourth time. Paris won 1-0 at the Parc des Princes on 26 September 2000 before Bayern turned the tables in Munich securing a 2-0 success.
- This is the German club’s first home meeting with French opposition since a 6-1 defeat of LOSC Lille in the 2012/13 group stage, Arjen Robben scoring the fifth goal. That gave Bayern the record of W10 D2 L3 at home to Ligue 1 visitors.
- Bayern have won their last three games against French clubs in Munich, having not won in four (D2 L2) before that sequence.
- The French club are unbeaten on their last three trips to Germany (W2 D1), most recently a 4-0 victory at Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the 2013/14 round of 16 first leg (6-1 aggregate).
- Paris’ overall record away to German clubs is W3 D1 L3.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Bayern vs Paris Saint-Germain – 2-1
Bayern vs Paris Saint-Germain– Lineups
Ulreich – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba – Javi Martínez, Vidal – James, Müller, Coman – Lewandowski
Head Coach: Jupp Heynckes
Areola – Berchiche, Thiago Silva, Marquinho, Dani Alves – Draxler, Verratti, Lo Celso – Neymar, Cavani, Mbappé
Head Coach: Unai Emery
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and social media editor at Bundesliga.com. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.