Paris Saint-Germain, Champions League, round of 16,

Introducing Bayern's last-16 opponents Paris Saint-Germain

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It’s finally Champions League time again! After another perfect group stage with six wins from six matches, FC Bayern take on French champions Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16. In our opposition profile, takes a closer look at the team from the French capital.

Current form: Domestic slip-ups

Paris Saint-Germain AS Monaco

PSG’s form has been rather patchy since the World Cup break. In eight games, Christophe Galtier’s side have registered four wins, one draw and three defeats. The past week has seen them suffer two particular setbacks, with a 2-1 defeat in the cup at Olympique Marseille on Wednesday followed by a 3-1 loss at AS Monaco in the league on Saturday. Despite that, PSG are still top of the table, five points ahead of closest rivals Marseille. PSG also have significant injury concerns at present, with Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé, Marco Verratti and Renato Sanches all missing the trip to Monaco.

The squad: World-class in almost every position

Paris Saint Germain, Paris, Champions League
Still unbeaten in the UCL this season: Paris finished second in their group behind Benfica with 14 points.

The PSG squad is packed with top international stars, from the defence through the midfield to the attack. In goal, PSG strengthened in summer 2021 with the signing of Italian Gianluigi Donnarumma. The 6ft 5in shot-stopper joined from boyhood club AC Milan and won his first league title with the Parisians in his first year. At international level, the 23-year-old celebrated his biggest success to date with the winning of the European Championship in 2021.

In defence, too, Galtier has a wealth of riches. Alongside experienced leaders like four-time Champions League winner Sergio Ramos, Brazilian Marquinhos and former Bayern man Juan Bernat, the PSG backline also contains some younger talents like ex-Dortmund full-back Achraf Hakimi and Portuguese talent Nuno Mendes.

Paris Saint-Germain, Renato Sanches, Paris, Champions League
In the French capital since summer 2022: Ex-Bayern midfielder Renato Sanches.

Pulling the strings in midfield are experienced Italian Marco Verratti, Portuguese rising star Vitinha and Spain’s Fabián Ruiz. There’s also a familiar face in the squad: ex-Munich man Renato Sanches moved to the French capital last summer.

Lionel Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappé, Paris Saint-Germain, Paris
The trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé are one of the deadliest front threes in European football.

However, it’s the attacking department that boasts the biggest names. With reigning world champion and seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, Brazilian winger Neymar and the former most expensive player in the world Kylian Mbappé, PSG possess one of the strongest front threes in European football. Between them the trio have scored 13 of the team’s 16 goals in the Champions League this season, underlining their enormous goalscoring threat. However, both Messi and Mbappé are currently nursing knocks and are doubtful for Tuesday’s first leg.

The coach: Christophe Galtier

Paris Saint-Germain, head coach, Christophe Galtier
In the PSG dugout since July: Christophe Galtier

Galtier has been in charge at PSG since the start of this term. The 56-year-old succeeded Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino, who was relieved of his duties after one and a half years. The former defender has previously worked for the likes of Portsmouth, Saint-Étienne and Lille, with whom he enjoyed his greatest success to date in the 2020/21 campaign, leading the northern French side to a shock league championship.

Chasing first UCL crown

Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid, Champions League, quarter-finals,
Kylian Mbappé and Co were beaten in the quarter-finals of the Champions League by eventual winners Real Madrid last season.

Paris Saint-Germain are one of France’s most successful clubs at national level with 10 league title – including eight in the last 10 years – as well as 14 Coupe de France wins and nine Coupe de la Ligue successes. Their biggest achievement on the European stage was the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1996, but the capital club are still waiting for a first major continental success. Twice they’ve lost in the final of the Champions League, including against Bayern in 2020.

The stadium: Parc des Princes

Parc des Pinces, Paris, Paris Saint-Germain
Parc des Princes, built in 1897, holds 47,929 spectators.

Bayern visit Parc des Princes on Tuesday evening, the home stadium of PSG which is located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, was built in 1897 and has been renovated several times since then. “Le Parc” is used as a venue for both football and rugby, and also hosted the football World Cups in France in 1938 and 1998. FCB have lost on four of their five previous visits to the stadium, but their most recent meeting in the city of love offers hope: in the quarter-finals of the 2020/21 campaign, Thomas Müller and Co triumphed 1-0 at the 47,929-capacity ground thanks to an Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting goal, although they were narrowly knocked out following a 3-2 defeat in the first leg.

Happy memories

Kingsley Coman, Coman, Champions League, Final, 2020, Paris
Matchwinner: Kingsley Coman won the 2020 Champions League final for Bayern thanks to his 59th-minute header.

The two clubs have faced off 11 times in total in Europe’s premier club competition. The Frenchmen currently have their noses in front with six wins to five, but the Reds claimed victory in the most important one. The 1-0 victory in the 2020 final in Lisbon earned Bayern their sixth European crown.

Bayern are ready for the clash in Paris:

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