Bayern Munich vs Paris Saint-Germain
The Champions League has reached the quarter-finals stage and my two favourites for the 2021 crown have only gone and been drawn together!
That means either the holders, Bayern Munich, or last season’s beaten finalists, Paris St-Germain, will be bowing out earlier than expected.
But not before a mouth-watering repeat of last year’s final when Bayern landed their sixth European Cup and a second continental treble in eight seasons.
The German giants have now appeared in the final 11 times, whereas PSG – who have never lifted the trophy – have only gone beyond the quarter-finals twice.
Of course, that will count for a little over the next week when two well-matched teams go head-to-head.
Expect Champions League 2021 highlights.
In Germany, the Bayern juggernaut shows little sign of halting. Even in the absence of their irrepressible star man Robert Lewandowski (sidelined due to a knee ligament strain), they took a major step towards a ninth successive Bundesliga title with a 1-0 success over pretenders RB Leipzig, thanks to a first-half goal from Leon Goretzka on Saturday.
Even without the Pole, it is clear the danger doesn’t just come from the focal point of the attack.
No fewer than 18 players in the squad have scored at least one goal this season, with Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry joining Lewandowski by hitting double figures.
Muller also tops the Bundesliga assists chart on 15, with Joshua Kimmich (10), Leroy Sane (nine) and Kingsley Coman (nine) hot on his heels and helping to power Germany’s most prolific attack.
Bayern’s 43 goals in last season’s tournament was the highest total by any club since the competition changed format in 2003/04.
Of course, PSG have matchwinners of their own and any attack comprising the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will be a challenge for even the best of defences.
PSG brushed Barcelona aside with arrogant ease in the last 16 and in a complete contrast to recent seasons, are actually making light work of European competition while struggling in Ligue 1 (eight defeats so far this term) – a league they have largely dominated since inheriting their new-found wealth.
A 1-0 home reverse to Lille on Saturday saw them overtaken at the top by their opponents and was further evidence of Neymar’s suspect temperament when things aren’t going his way as he was sent off late on.
The side has undergone notable changes since Mauricio Pochettino was appointed manager at the turn of the year, but he is still expected to deploy a front-four consisting of Moise Kean in front of Mbappe, Neymar and Ángel Di María.
Marco Verratti will miss the first leg after the French champions announced he had tested positive for Covid-19. His absence will make the task harder as they will also be without Verratti’s midfield partner Leandro Paredes.
Personally, I am still not convinced by the PSG defence and that could prove crucial over two legs.
These two clubs have faced each other nine times in official competitions with the Parisians winning five times and the Bavarians enjoying four successes.
However, one match, of course, stands out above all and the fact Bayern are reigning European champions is a feat that will continue to hurt PSG unless they are able to add their own name to the elusive silverware.
Apart from last season’s final, settled by a Coman goal, all the meetings have been in the group stages of major competition.
The first was in the 1994/95 Champions League when goals from George Weah and Daniel Bravo sealed a 2-0 success for PSG in Paris.
PSG also won the return group match in Munich – the only time they have won on Bayern soil – when Weah scored the only goal.
The last meeting in Germany was three seasons ago in Group B of the tournament when Bayern avenged an earlier defeat with a 3-1 success, courtesy of Lewandowski and a Corentin Tolisso double. Mbappe had replied for Paris St-Germain.
|Bayern Munich vs Paris Saint-Germain||Total Goals 2-3 @ 2.12|
|April 8, 03:00 (GMT+8)|
The main pressure is on the French side against hosts appearing in the Champions League quarter-finals for the 19th time – one more than Barcelona, with whom they previously shared the competition record.
The Bavarians’ know-how should give them the edge and the SBOTOP Champions League 2021 betting odds agree.
Bayern can be backed 1X2 @ 1.92 and Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 2.29. PSG are on offer at an attractive 1X2 @ 3.70 and Asian Handicap +0.25 @ 2.23.
A repeat of last season’s showpiece – Correct Score 1-0 – will pay out @ 10.50.
I am expecting this to produce a fair few goals – why wouldn’t it with such attacking mastery on display.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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