Two more Champions League quarterfinals tomorrow morning, with a rematch of last year’s final in the spotlight.
Nearly eight months ago Bayern Munich edged Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 on a Kingsley Coman goal to win the Champions League crown.
Tomorrow morning the two giants meet again in the first leg of their quarterfinal tie, with plenty of big names on the pitch…and plenty of big names missing.
For Bayern, Europe’s top scorer, Robert Lewandowski is out with a knee injury, while Serge Gnabry returned a positive COVID test. On the PSG side, the influential Marco Verrati, as well as Alessandro Florenzi will also miss after testing positive.
The other quarterfinal, expected to be much cagier and potentially low scoring, features Porto and Chelsea. Because of travel restrictions, both legs will be played in Sevilla.
Champions League, 1st Leg
Remarkably, Bayern have 18 wins (and one draw) from their last 19 Champions League matches, they’ve won eight in a row at Allianz Arena and under Hansi Flick’s watch have scored 54 goals and conceded just 11. Even with their injuries, Bayern have plenty of firepower in Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. PSG of course, have the incredible Kylian Mbappe and also see the return of Neymar, who missed the Round of 16 matches, but had a temper tantrum in the Ligue 1 loss to Lille and was red carded. Amazingly, the 1-0 loss in last year’s final was the only time in the last 43 Champions League matches that PSG have failed to score a goal.
Chelsea are coming off a dreadful 5-2 loss to lowly West Brom, the first defeat in the 14 games Thomas Tuchel has been in charge. How quickly the Blues rebound mentally will play a huge part in this one. Both defences are solid; Chelsea have conceded just two goals in the UCL while Porto allowed just three in the group stages (all to Man City) and managed to tighten up when needed in a two-legged win over Juventus in the Round of 16. Porto will be without a couple of key players, including high-scoring Sergio Oliveira and striker Mehdi Terami.