Paris Saint-Germain face Bayern Munich within the UEFA Champions League closing.
- Final Up to date: August 23, 2020, 12:05 PM IST
Sunday’s historic UEFA Champions League closing in Lisbon would be the first performed behind closed doorways and will additionally see the Paris Saint-Germain of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe win the trophy for the primary time, however a Bayern Munich facet led by the prolific Robert Lewandowski block their path.
It’s a mouthwatering showdown between two of Europe’s super-clubs, with PSG desperate to cap their rise within the final decade below Qatari possession and Bayern hoping to carry the trophy for the sixth time.
Such an event deserves to be performed in entrance of a full stadium, however the cavernous, 65,000-seat Estadio da Luz can be empty.
No followers are allowed in, as has been the case all through this unprecedented ‘Closing Eight’ event within the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s true that it will likely be odd to play behind closed doorways. We’d have appreciated to have our supporters there however I do know they’re supporting us the place they’re. However that is nonetheless the Champions League,” stated Mbappe on Saturday throughout a digital press convention.
The competitors was suspended for 5 months earlier than lastly resuming earlier in August, with two-legged ties performed away with within the quarter-finals and semi-finals.
“You continue to really feel all the stress. Everybody needs to win it, particularly with this uncommon format. Everybody will keep in mind this for a very long time due to the tragic occasions surrounding it,” Mbappe added.
Whereas the ambiance within the floor can be surreal for the few hundred allowed to attend, the match guarantees to be fascinating, pitting collectively two groups whose home dominance is nearly whole and who have been each comfy winners within the semi-finals.
‘Go down in historical past’
PSG sealed their place of their first Champions League closing by beating RB Leipzig 3-0.
They’re the primary French consultant to get this far since Monaco in 2004 and may grow to be simply the second crew from Ligue 1 to win European membership soccer’s greatest prize, after Marseille in 1993.
“That is precisely why I got here right here. I all the time stated that I needed to go down in my nation’s historical past. (This) is one other probability to try this,” stated Mbappe.
If PSG signify the nouveau riche, Bayern are one of many continent’s conventional giants. That is their 11th closing.
The final of their 5 victories got here in 2013. 4 starters from that 2-1 closing win over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley — goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba and Thomas Mueller — might play right here, though Boateng is a doubt with a hamstring damage.
When, in 1974, Bayern gained their first European Cup, a younger PSG outfit have been solely simply profitable promotion to France’s prime flight.
Leaving apart their storied previous, Bayern seem essentially the most formidable crew in Europe simply now.
Bayern Munich‘s 3-Zero semi-final win over Lyon was their 20th consecutive victory. They’re unbeaten in 29 matches since December final yr below coach Hansi Flick.
They’ve already pocketed a German league and cup double, with the Bundesliga title their eighth in a row.
They’ve gained all 10 matches within the Champions League this season, scoring 42 objectives, together with a 7-2 win at Tottenham Hotspur and the 8-2 quarter-final demolition of Barcelona.
Bayern’s ‘small benefit’
Lewandowski has 55 objectives this season. However he’s greater than ably supported.
Bayern take the chance of taking part in with a dangerously excessive defensive position. But it stays to be seen if they’ll afford to take that threat in opposition to PSG’s assault of Neymar, Mbappe and Angel Di Maria.
“We have all the time performed with a excessive line and finally we have outcomes doing that so we can’t change an excessive amount of,” Flick insisted.
The French champions, below German coach Thomas Tuchel, have themselves misplaced as soon as since November 1, final yr, and so they overturned that 2-1 reverse in Dortmund within the final 16 by profitable the return leg.
“It’s a small benefit for Bayern that they’re used as a membership to taking part in these video games. I settle for that, however it isn’t a decisive benefit,” stated Tuchel.
Neymar is in superb kind and Mbappe has recovered from an ankle damage, whereas Tuchel was optimistic playmaker Marco Verratti would begin after a calf downside.
Nevertheless, there stays a doubt over goalkeeper Keylor Navas, 3 times a Champions League winner with Actual Madrid, after he missed the semi-final.
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