Created on 04-12-2017 at 15:15 PM
We’ve saved the best until last. The UEFA Champions League group stage concludes on Tuesday night when FC Bayern host Paris Saint-Germain at the Allianz Arena (kick-off 20:45 CET, coverage available via our live ticker and free web radio). The primary job for the Bavarians following the 3-0 defeat in the first meeting two months ago is, “to show a different side to ourselves compared to the game in Paris,” stressed defender Niklas Süle. The best-case scenario for the record German champions is to overtake the Parisians and claim first place in Group B.
“We’re out to make amends. We want to show a different Bayern side compared to the first game, especially at home,” said goalkeeper Sven Ulreich ahead of the encounter with last season’s runners-up in France. “We simply want to win,” highlighted Mats Hummels. “Perhaps if things go really well we’ll look at going for first place, but at first we just want to try and win. Then we’ll see.”
PSG with UCL goal record
In order for Bayern to come out on top in the head-to-head standing and win the group, the Bavarians have to win the game by at least four clear goals. Not an easy task against the form side in the Champions League this season: PSG currently lead Group B ahead of FCB with the maximum 15 points from five games and a +23 goal difference (Bayern: 12 points, +5).
“We’re up against a team who are doing an outstanding job this season and have already set a record for goals scored in the group stage,” said Hummels. “We have to be realistic and say PSG have such a strong team that it will need the most unbelievable performance from us and for them to have an off day.” The centre-back finished by insisting, “winning the group is an unlikely dream.”
Heynckes remains realistic
David Alaba reasserted that this game is about “concentrating on the essentials. We want to prepare well and go into the game with the intention to win it. That’ll be out aim. We know it won’t be easy, but we have to focus on ourselves, on our game and our quality. We have to do what the coach wants us to do out on the pitch.”
And the coach has urged his side to look at the situation ahead of the final game “realistically.” Jupp Heynckes then added, “We’re not so foolhardy that we’re saying this is about winning the group. It’s about prestige. We want to put the first game behind us. I’m confident we won’t just come in with the right approach but also put in a great performance that will show we remain one of European football’s top clubs. It’ll be a showdown of the highest quality.”
Same squad as against Hannover
In terms of players, there is no new injury news following the league match against Hannover on Saturday. “We have the same squad available to us as against Hannover,” said Heynckes, who will only decide on the final starting XI on the day of the game. Thomas Müller and Franck Ribery made their long-awaited returns from injury at the weekend, but Heynckes does not want to overburden the pair too soon. Kingsley Coman also complained about slight problems after the Hannover game, Heynckes added.
The fact that the French league leaders lost their first competitive game of the season at the weekend against Racing Strasbourg was not something the Bayern squad wanted to pay too much attention to. “The defeat changes nothing in my eyes about the quality of their team,” explained Coman, who made his first-team debut as a player at PSG. Striker Robert Lewandowski also said, “We’re simply focused on defending well and remaining a threat in attack. We want to show we’re better than PSG.”