All football lovers cannot wait for Sunday evening with what promises to be a mouth-watering clash of attacking talent and interesting storylines everywhere.
Bayern Munich have looked unstoppable both in the Bundesliga and the Champions League in the post-lockdown break, but Paris Saint-Germain promise to present a different and more dangerous challenge than they have faced to date.
Despite dispatching Barcelona, Chelsea and Lyon by a combed score of 15-3, Bayern gave up a lot more clear-cut chances than those winning margins would indicate. A pedestrian Barcelona counter-attack pulled Bayern’s high defensive line apart in the first half and should have scored more than the one goal they managed via David Alaba’s spectacular own goal.
Similarly, Lyon had more than enough chances to open the scoring on the counter against Hans-Dieter Flick’s side before Serge Gnabry’s spectacular goal.
Bayern’s greatest strength can also be their greatest weakness. Their high intensity pressing controls games and stops the opposition passing out from the back, but there is a lot of space behind the Germans defence which can be exploited.
Added to that, Jerome Boateng is still a big question mark at centre half and the ease with which Luis Suarez went by him in the quarter final was concerning. Also, neither of Joshua Kimmich or the freakishly-gifted Alphonso Davies are experienced in the full back position, with both are susceptible to defensive lapses.
Any mistakes will be punished by the scariest counter attacker in world football. Kylian Mabppe with Neymar not far behind. Unless Bayern change their tactics for the final, I expect PSG to score at least two goals and get plenty of chances to pierce Bayern’s rearguard.
However, two goals is unlikely to be enough to win this match in 90 minutes and PSG will be need to be clinical. This means Neymar’s finishing must improve as he has been profligate in both quarter and semi-finals.
However, the controversial Brazilian superstar is playing his best football since he left Barcelona with his sublime assist for Angel Di Maria’s tap in against RB Leipzig being the high point.
I am expected a huge performance from Neymar as he seeks to vindicate his move to Paris and prove that he could win a Champions league no longer playing alongside Lionel Messi.
The harder question to answer for PSG will be can their defence and midfield cope with Bayern’s devastating attack, which can hurt the opposition in so many ways.
It will be a huge challenge for Thomas Tuchel to come up with a plan to try to shut down the space in between defence and midfield as that is where Thomas Muller lives.
Much like Neymar, Muller is playing his best stuff in many a year, with his link up play much improved from previous campaigns. Curbing his influence will go a long way for the French outfit to win their first ever Champions League crown.
However, even if Muller is held, that still leaves Serge Gnabry, Ivan Perisic, Thiago and Davies as possible creators for Robert Lewandowski, so PSG’s task is an incredibly difficult one.
However, I reckon there is a bit of value in PSG to win the match. I would make the German side only slender favourites in what promises to be a titanic battle and as outlined above, I reckon PSG can exploit Bayern’s high defensive line in a way no other team in the tournament can.
With such potent attacks, a high scoring game is inevitable and over 3.5 goals will form the second part of my Same Game Multi. Expect goals, goals and more goals here.
Lastly Alphonso Davies looks a nice price to be carded in what promises to be the biggest test of the young Canadian’s career. He will see a lot of Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe on his side of the pitch, which should induce a rash tackle or two.
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