PSG vs Bayern Munich | Tuesday 13th April 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport
PSG are half way to completing their revenge mission on Bayern.
Last week’s shoot out was definitely the game we were hoping for when these two sides met in the UCL final at Estádio da Luz last August, it was possibly a Parisian smash and grab raid having defended 31 shots but making the most of their six to edge a five-goal thriller and take two vital away goals back to their Parc des Princes home – but this tie is potentially not over.
I, like many other neutrals eagerly anticipating this second leg, will be intrigued to find out how both these managers set up.
Will Hansi Flick stubbornly continue with the high defensive line which was ruthlessly exploited by Neymar and Kylian Mbappe and will Mauricio Pochettino be affected by the fact his side can afford to draw or even lose this tie and still progress?
The Bavarians have a well-documented horrible looking injury list whilst, although welcoming back Marco Verratti and Alessandro Florenzi the home side have injury concerns over Keylor Navas with Marquinhos definitely ruled out.
With his side having lost three successive Ligue 1 home games, to Monaco, Nantes and Lille, registering just one win in their last five on home soil Pochettino was right to sound caution ahead of this second leg, especially given their second-leg performance against Barcelona in the last 16.
We know Bayern will give it their all, coming in to this tie unbeaten in their last 17 UCL away games (excluding neutral venues), a UCL record (W13, D4) looking to exploit any nervousness in the PSG game, this game could ebb and flow spectacularly if the goals start to fly as they did last week.
Even without Robert Lewandowski the Bavarians will back themselves to score in Paris and given they have hit the back of the net at least once in their last FIFTY away games, since Leipzig held them to a 0-0 draw in May 2019, they have every right to.
Therefore, I’ve got to back a Bayern Munich win again at odds of 32/25 with Novibet.
My final two selections are linked – and for a game which promises so much beauty I am going to delve in to the dark side of the game.
Following the first leg we can imagine extra attention will be served to Neymar and Mbappe and especially if PSG are happy to sit deep, invite pressure on to them before springing a counter I can see a few tactical fouls needed to break up the play – it wouldn’t surprise me to see the efficient German side rotate players tasked with doing just that.
Additionally, the Parisians would take a passage to the UCL semi-finals by any scoreline – they would sign for a 1-0 defeat now I am sure – which means we could see some buying of fouls taking any attempt to run the clock down.
Two angles I am looking at here are fouls suffered by Neymar and also total fouls committed by the visitors.
Neymar will be a well-used out ball by the PSG defence and I think a combination of him being happy to take a foul and also Bayern’s necessity to make one will lead to him crossing the line set by Unibet of 4.5.
In this year's UCL the 29-year-old has started and completed five games suffering over 4.5 fouls in four of them (5, 7, 5, 6, 4) with injury forcing him off against Istanbul Basaksehir after just 26 minutes but still enough time to be fouled once – in the aforementioned final last term, he drew six fouls from Bayern, so therefore odds of 7/5 look a fair play.
Linked to this is the same firm offering odds of even money for a total of over 14.5 fouls committed by Bayern Munich which given the outline above looks like having more than a 50% chance.
Bayern committed 16 fouls in the first leg last week and made 22 in that 2020 final – two contrasting game situations which cover either eventuality here – either chasing or protecting a narrow advantage.
For both these bets the only real situation to negatively impact the selections would be if one side cruised out of sight – as outlined above, something I would be massively surprised to see happen.