One and a half hours until kickoff: We have lineups! Bayern Munich starts with a back three as expected, with Julian Nagelsmann opting for Leon Goretzka over Thomas Muller in the starting XI. Kingsley Coman also starts ahead of Alphonso Davies, most likely in a left wingback role, while Joao Cancelo starts on the right.
The funny thing about the Champions League Round of 16 is that the teams draw each other MONTHS before any games are played. So Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have effectively been staring at this date since November, waiting for the moment where they can finally go at it on the pitch.
Much was made of a reported altercation between PSG sporting advisor Luis Campos upon his return to Monaco with Portuguese speakers Neymar and Marquinhos which Neymar himself confirmed to have happened on Monday: “These things happen, small discussions where we do not agree,” said the Brazilian superstar in the pre-game press conference. “It happens each day, but I still love everybody — it is like with a girlfriend. Soccer is not just love and not just friendship. There is respect, but it happens through discussions.
“We are not used to losing — PSG wins games so losing knocks us. That is how you improve, though. As for the locker room, lies sometimes come out in the press and travel around the globe. Rumors have come out at key moments this season and we need to find out why. It is not normal that stories come out in the press that should stay between us. When information like that leaks, we get angry. I can guarantee you that much of it is wrong although some of it is true.
Julian Nagelsmann has a lot to prove here. After last year’s failure against Villarreal, the club and its fans won’t tolerate an early exit from the Champions League. Meanwhile over in France, PSG’s Qatari masters demand results in the only competition that matters to them.
The stakes here could only be higher in a final. Despite injuries, Bayern are bringing a full complement of stars to Paris, including the likes of Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich, Leroy Sane, the newly signed Joao Cancelo, and more. They’ll be met by one of the deadliest front-threes in world football in the form of Leo Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar. This is what the CL is all about.
How to watch and odds
Coverage starts each day at 2 pm. with Champions League Today on CBS and Paramount+. Paramount+ will offer a multicast feature allowing subscribers to watch two matches simultaneously in a split-screen view. You can try one month free by using the code: ADVANCE.
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 14 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Parc des Princes — Paris, France
TV and live stream: CBS and Paramount+
Bayern: Nagelsmann remains without the recovering Sadio Mane, Lucas Hernandez, Manuel Neuer, and Noussair Mazraoui in his squad. The German champions also made some smart moves during the winter window to ensure that they are stronger now than when the draw was made. Yann Sommer and Joao Cancelo are impressive additions to Bayern’s ranks and Nagelsmann may have been right all along about Mbappe so his players will undoubtedly be well prepared.
This will be the 12th competitive meeting between PSG and Bayern Munich, with all 11 previous encounters also coming in the UEFA Champions League. The head-to-head record between the pair is nearly evenly split, with Paris Saint-Germain’s six wins just outshining Bayern’s five (one draw).
In fact, of all six teams who have faced Bayern Munich on 10 or more occasions in the Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain have the highest win percentage against them (55% – six of 11).
PSG have had a much better time at home than away against Bayern Munich, with the French club winning four of their five previous matches at Parc des Princes. The other game of those five ended in a defeat, but even that loss was a positive for the Ligue 1 club, as Bayern’s 1-0 win wasn’t enough to see them advance to the semi-finals in April 2021 and PSG went through on away goals.
Paris Saint Germain
With Kylian Mbappe already set to miss Tuesday’s game due to an injury, and Messi also emerging as a doubtful prospect, a lot of eyes will be on Neymar, and the fans would be expecting that the Brazilian delivers on this demanding stage, especially with the kind of form he has been in this season.
Bayern’s newest signing Joao Cancelo has had a great start with the club. Despite having played only two games so far for the Bavarians, Joao already seems to understand the team as well as Nagelsmamn’s plans. His presence in the team on Tuesday will be immense, and we can all expect a lot of good things from the Portuguese.