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"These games are why you play football"

Bayern start their comeback mission at PSG

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Bayern once again have to show their incredible comeback qualities on Tuesday away at Paris Saint-Germain (21:00 CEST, coverage available on fcbayern.com with our live text commentary and free web radio). The goal is to overturn a 3-2 first-leg deficit in the return fixture at the Parc des Princes and advance into the semi-finals of the Champions League. Despite the difficult task ahead, there’s no lack of confidence and belief in the Munich camp. “Because we’re the better team, I’m convinced we’ll get through,” Joshua Kimmich said full of conviction.

The holders know about these ‘all-or-nothing’ games like few other clubs in Europe. The clash with France’s champions is the 100th knockout fixture in Bayern’s Champions League history and makes them the second club after Real Madrid to reach that milestone. Everything else you need to know on the second leg is in our preview.

Check out the best photos as Bayern completed their final preparations for the PSG clash on Monday.

Situation for Bayern

Hansi Flick’s team head to the French capital with a mighty rage after the unfortunate result in the first leg. FCB were dominant with 31 shots to PSG’s six, which led to “frustration”, as Lucas Hernandez put it. But that is exactly where Bayern now want to draw positive energy from for the return fixture. “The team and all these great players is very motivated,” the 25-year-old added. That was echoed by head coach Flick: “We know it won’t be an easy job, but we’ll throw all we have at it.” The European champions need to score at least twice in Paris to have a chance of progressing, but at the same time avoiding the counter-attacks that PSG hit them with at the Allianz Arena. As Thomas Müller put it, this comeback is a real “risk assessment. We won’t be using a crowbar from the start, but will push for an early goal.”

Joshua Kimmich is setting an example ahead of the PSG clash:

Opponents Paris Saint-Germain

PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino is preparing his team for an all-out attack from the visitors in this season leg. “Bayern are the champions. They’ll try to cause us problems, but we have to try and keep the ball,” the 49-year-old said. The idea of playing for a goalless draw is, though, out of the question for the Argentine: “Our goal is to win the game.” Given the Parisians’ recent run of only one win in their last five competitive matches at home, they will likely have to turn to their leading man once again. Kylian Mbappe scored twice in the first leg in Munich and now has eight goals from as many games in the Champions League this season.

Mbappe was again on the scoresheet for PSG at the weekend against Strasbourg:

Personnel

There was good news on the injury front for Bayern ahead of the trip to Paris. Hernandez and Leon Goretzka, who both missed the 1-1 draw with Union Berlin on Saturday, are in the squad. Alphonso Davies is also involved after serving a suspension in the Bundesliga. Jerome Boateng and Kingsley Coman had both gone off with injuries at the weekend but took part in final training and have travelled to France. “We’re assuming everyone who was in training can play,” Flick stated. However, Robert Lewandowski will not be involved after he only resumed running after a knee injury on Monday. Corentin Tolisso (thigh), Douglas Costa (recovery training after a fractured metatarsal), Marc Roca (knock) and Serge Gnabry (self-isolation) are also out.

As for PSG, Leandro Paredes has served his suspension and is eligible to play in the second leg. However, the French champions remain without Juan Bernat (knee) and Mauri Icardi (thigh). According to Pochettino, decisions will be made on captain Marquinhos (muscular), Alessandro Florenzi and Marco Verratti (both recently recovered from COVID-19) on the day of the game.

Bayern defender Lucas Hernandez wants to continue the adventure of their title defence:

What the coaches say

Hansi Flick: “We have to do our job of forcing them into errors. When in possession, we have to have one eye on the covering defenders. We know we need to score at least two goals. It’ll be a tough job but these games are why you play football. We want to pull off a little surprise in Paris.”

Mauricio Pochettino (Paris Saint-German head coach): “Anything can happen. Bayern are currently the best team in the world. I have great respect for them, but at the same time we trust our strengths and know we have to believe we can win the game.”

Check out the most important statements from the press conferences here:

Final referee Orsato back in action

Perhaps a good omen is the appointment of referee Daniele Orsato. The Italian has overseen four FCB matches to date (W3, L1), with the most recent being the 1-0 win over PSG in last season’s final in Lisbon. The Parisians have already seen him once this season, which was their 3-1 win away at Manchester United in the group stage. Orsato’s assistants at the Parc des Princes will be comparisons Alessandro Giallatini and Fabiano Preti. The fourth official is Daniele Doveri, with Massimiliano Irrati and Marco Guida acting as VAR.

Check out five facts of encouragement for the return leg:

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