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Paris Saint-Germain vs Bayern Munich Preview

Paris Saint-Germain host Bayern Munich in the pick of this week's UEFA Champions League action.
Paris Saint-Germain host Bayern Munich in the pick of this week's UEFA Champions League action.
UEFA Champions League | Wednesday 27 September | Parc des Princes | 20:45

Matchday two of the UEFA Champions League has a massive blockbuster in store, with big-spenders, PSG, hosting Bayern Munich in Group B. Unfortunately, we have to wait until Wednesday, but a tie of this magnitude promises to be worth the wait. PSG got their campaign off to a winning start, smashing Celtic 5-0 in their group opener to lead Bayern on goal difference, after the Bavarians could only put three goals past 10-man Anderlecht. Unai Emery’s men are priced up as favourites, something no football fan would have imagined a few years ago. This will be PSG’s biggest test since their so-called new era with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. But can they bulldoze their way past the German giants?

To Win (90 mins)
PSG 9/10
Draw 29/10
Bayern Munich 5/2

Paris Saint-Germain

High-flying Paris Saint-Germain face their biggest test of the season when they host Bayern Munich. The Parisians have been superb so far this season. In the French Ligue 1, they’ve won their opening six games, scoring 21 goals – that’s an average of 3.5 goals per game.

Just a few months ago in pre-season, after PSG lost back-to-back games against Tottenham and Juventus, the question was asked by many football fans: do they have enough firepower to compete for the Champions League this season? I think that question should have been answered by now.

They look absolutely frightening in attack, and defensively, they haven’t shown any real signs of weaknesses. Many fans thought PSG would suffer at the back, especially after losing Blaise Matuidi, Serge Aurier and Grzegorz Krychowiak. However, that just frees up space for more attacking players on the pitch, with Adrien Rabiot and Marco Veratti being the pivot in midfield.

In attack, PSG have many players that can hurt the opposition. World-record signing, Neymar, has slotted in quite well with his new teammates, especially Kylian Mbappe, who joined on a loan deal this season, but will be signed for €180m next year.

There has been a small altercation with Neymar and Edinson Cavani, after the two superstars fought over who should be over set-pieces last weekend against Lyon. They were at each other’s throats all game, with Neymar nicking the ball when Cavani stood over a free-kick. The Uruguayan did get to take a penalty (after another disagreement with Neymar), but justice was served as he was denied from the spot.

Neymar reportedly unfollowed Cavani on social media after the game, but let’s hope that doesn’t affect their performances on the pitch. Along with Mbappe, the trio have looked remarkable, but one bad egg in the basket could cost the entire team. If they put their differences aside, Bayern could be in for a massive shock.

Bayern Munich

As much of a test that this will be for PSG, it is as massive of a task for Bayern Munich. Carlo Ancelotti’s men haven’t been too convincing this season, despite battering some teams by heavy scorelines.

After Xabi Alonso and Phillip Lahm retired, many suspected that Bayern will struggle at first. Positively for the Bavarian giants, they have a manager who knows how to strengthen when he spots weaknesses in his team. They’ve signed Corentin Tolisso, a like-for-like replacement for Alonso, and Sebastian Rudy, who can operate superbly in a number of positions – just like Lahm.

On paper, Bayern still have one of the best squads in Europe. However, they will have to deal without their giant shot-stopper, Manuel Neuer, who was recently ruled out for several months with a foot injury. With Neuer out injured, there has been plenty of reports suggesting Tom Starke could come out of retirement to help his former employers.

Bayern have lost on all three visits to the Parc des Princes, while they also hope to end the French heavyweights’ nine-game unbeaten run at home.

Ancelotti’s side will need to be at their best against PSG, because the Parisians are more than capable of beating all the other teams in Group B, both home and away. The Bavarians will need goals in this match, and with Robert Lewandowski in their squad, you can never back against them to find the back of the net.

The Polish striker is one of the best number nines in the business, and he’s shown that so far this season, banging in six goals across all competitions. People speak of dynamic, terrifying trios in world football, but I’m amazed how Lewandowski, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben never ever make the conversation.

All three players have a case for getting into any team in the world, and if they’re on song, PSG could find themselves on the receiving end of a couple of goals.

Probable line-ups:

PSG: 4-2-3-1
Areola; Alves, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa; Veratti, Rabiot; Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar; Cavani.

Bayern Munich: 4-2-3-1
Ulreich; Kimmich, Hummels, Boateng, Rafinha; Thiago, Tolisso; Robben, James, Ribery; Lewandowski.

Prediction: Bayern Munich Win/Draw & Both Teams to Score (27/20)
Bayern Munich have lost on all three meetings at the Parc des Princes, but I’m expecting them to get something from this game. There’s loads of attacking quality on the pitch, so both sides should find the back of the net. As seen before, PSG have crumbled in the big games, and as strong as a side they’ve got, I’m expecting them to struggle against Bayern. Back them on the Win/Draw & Both Teams to Score at a valuable 27/20!

Written by Jesse Nagel. Follow him on Twitter here!