I must admit, I am really excited about this final. Bayern Munich are the European thoroughbreds and proven winners but PSG have dynamite up front.
The Bayern Way
I would be more of a traditionalist and I would prefer Bayern Munich to win. I have always been against PSG up to this point with the Qatari backed level of investment.
You have to admire how Bayern Munich is run from the board to pitch level. They are a strong club with a good heritage, well supported and when you look at the amount of money spent to assemble this Bayern team, it must be one of the lowest compared to any of the other top teams in Europe.
Their board and sporting director deserve all the praise on their player recruitment policy. It’s hard to believe a lot of these current stars came in on loan or free transfers.
It really shows the health check of the club from top down and that’s part of the reason you would like to see them win it.
Tradition is so important to Bayern and the fact they hang on to ex-players in important roles shows the tight bonds which definitely help deliver that passion and commitment on the pitch.
It is a great model for other teams to try and follow.
We are quite blinkered in our view of the Premier league and it being the best league in the world but the German teams are always strong and Bayern don’t have that billionaire investor which makes it even more special.
PSG as we all know are backed by Qatar and this squad has cost hundreds of millions to assemble.
Traditionally, they were always seen as the serial under-performers getting knocked out in the quarter-finals and to be honest I thought the same would happen this year.
In fairness they have proved me wrong and I think they might just have enough to take the cup home to Paris. Both teams have serious firepower with Robert Lewandowski who already has 15 goals and is targeting Ronaldo’s record Champions League tally.
If the PSG front three play well, I find it hard to see how they can’t win, Mbappe is just a frightening talent, he’s very hard to mark with that raw speed and acceleration.
PSG v Bayern – Head-to-head
It’s a few years since these two teams met, with Bayern winning 4-3 on aggregate. They are obviously heading in to the game as firm-favourites after the demolition job on Barcelona and another impressive performance against Lyon in the semi-finals.
Thomas Muller has had a real resurgence this season and in Serge Gnabry, they have that explosive energy in from the wings. Both teams have strong squads but I think the 8-2 for Bayern against Barcelona was more flattering in the fact Barca were just so poor on the night.
I don’t think Bayern are that far ahead of everyone else, I just think Barcelona capitulated and couldn’t wait to get off the pitch at the end.
I am finding it hard to settle on who is going to win it and that PSG front three for me might just be the difference on the night.
Neymar and Mbappe will love that big stage. If you include Mauro Icardi and Angel di Maria, their movement is very good and they will be hard to mark. Marquinhos gives them that grit needed in midfield.
On the Bayern team, it’s hard not to pick out Lewandowski, a player I really admire and one of the last traditional out and out centre forwards playing as a no 9.
Just look at Liverpool as an example, there are not too many clubs that deploy no 9s like that anymore and the preference has moved to false 9s with lots of rotation up front.
He is a top-class striker, his finishing is unbelievable and he has been doing it for years at the highest level. He just lives for scoring goals.
Neymar has the no 10 on back of the shirt but he drifts around and has a free role in the team.
The front three for PSG interact up top very similarly to Liverpool with lots of angles and movement. It is very difficult for opposing teams and centre halves to pick up so that may be a weakness PSG can exploit with Bayern. It just puts doubt in the defender’s mind.
Bayern are not a team that sits back to soak up the pressure, they will attack and you have to think there will be space to exploit for the likes of Mbappe with his speed who loves to run with ball.
On paper, you expect this to be a really good game. Both teams will score goals, both teams will come out and attack and I think PSG may the nick the win in extra time.