2020 Champions League finalists PSG and Bayern Munich clash at the Parc de Princes this evening in a star-studded Round of 16 first-leg tie that should set pulses racing in the French capital.
Unsurprisingly, the continental heavyweights occupy top spot in their domestic divisions, however, as always, success in the Champions League is the real yardstick for both PSG and Bayern, and fireworks are expected in Paris.
You can dive straight into my stats pack for this evening’s showpiece showdown below which contains statistical info from the teams’ domestic campaigns to date. Combine the research with my Stats Pack Guide to power your bet builder coupons later on.
PSG will be without the services of the injured Renato Sanches and Nordi Mukiele, though Lionel Messi should play after he sat out the weekend defeat to Monaco with a slight muscle tweak.
Achraf Hakimi and Sergio Ramos should be restored to the XI from the bench while superstar striker Kylian Mbappe looks like he will be involved after a surprise return to full training. His inclusion, even if it is as a sub, would be a massive boost for PSG.
Sadio Mane, Lucas Hernandez, Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch are all in the treatment room for Bayern Munich at present. With keeper Manuel Neuer still out, January signing Yann Sommer should start between the sticks this evening.
Joshua Kimmich served a ban in the Bundesliga at the weekend, though the 28-year-old will reclaim his berth in midfield in Paris. New recruit, Joao Cancelo, could start for Bayern in the Champions League for the first time following his switch from Man City.
PSG’s underlying stats in Ligue 1 have a typically dominant look with high goals, xG, shots and shots on target per 90 figures the standouts, though their shots against tally (11.00 p/90) is a little higher than they would have liked.
The Champions League group stage, the Parisians were unbeaten, claiming 14 points from the 18 on offer, though they did finish second in Group H behind Benfica. Interestingly, PSG were unable to keep a single clean sheet in the section and even conceded in both meetings with Israeli outfit Maccabi Haifa.
Bayern Munich remain metric masters in most disciplines in the Bundesliga, though they did have a little wobble in the New Year where they drew three assignments on the spin. The Bavarians’ ability to create chances at will is reflected well in their attacking stats.
In the Champions League, Julian Nagelsmann’s side made impressively light work of some tough opponents in Group C. Despite sharing the section with Inter and Barcelona, Bayern won 100% of their fixtures and scored a whopping 18 times while conceding just two at the other end. Like PSG, Bayern picked up exactly 11 bookings in the group phase.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
An analysis of PSG’s firepower in final third still centres around their big-name triumvirate of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar, and that trio also made the biggest splashes for the Parisians in the Champions League.
Lionel Messi averaged 3.6 shots per group game before Christmas, while Mbappe and Neymar lodged 3.5 and 3.0 attempts per runout in the same contests. Kylian Mbappe is the metric leader for accuracy with 13 shots on target, however, with the 24-year-old’s selection from the start in question, Neymar and Messi might be better options in the markets.
Bayern Munich’s frontline is bursting with pace and dynamism, and Serge Gnabry (3.98), Leroy Sane (3.68), Thomas Muller (2.44), Jamal Musiala (2.65), Eric Choupo-Moting (2.47) and Kingsley Coman (3.13) have all been peppering teams in the Bundesliga with high shots per 90 tallies.
In the Champions League, Gnabry (3.4 shots per/90) has been the most impressive performer in the same department, while midfielder Leon Goretzka (2.9) has stronger numbers than Choupo-Moting, Sane, Musiala and Coman in the competition. Goretzka is 13/10 to have 1+ shots on target this evening.
Player Goals and Assists
Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi have combined to chip in with 35 of PSG’s 55 goals in Ligue 1 this season, though their input in the Champions League before Christmas was even more crucial.
PSG’s deadly attacking trident provided 13 of the French giant’s 16 goals in Group H, while Mbappe, Neymar and Messi also claimed nine assists between them. 35-year-old Messi (four) leads the way in terms of creation, taking his goal contribution tally to eight in five UCL runouts. Messi is a generous-looking 4/6 to either score or assist again today.
The players in Julian Nagelsmann’s team have been sharing the goals around this season following the departure of chief spearhead Robert Lewandowski. While just four players have hit four or more goals in Ligue 1 for PSG this term, seven have reached that target for Bayern in the Bundesliga.
In the Champions League, winger Leroy Sane (four goals, one assist) has been dynamite, and with goals in the group stage against both Inter Milan and Barcelona, the 27-year-old has already shown an appetite for producing on the big occasions. Sane is even money to either score or assist again this evening.
PSG set the tempo in the vast majority of their Ligue 1 fixtures, and their possession stats drop only slightly to 59.0% per game in the Champions League.
Italian technician Marco Verratti has the ball on a string in France, and the 30-year-old also tops the passing charts for PSG in the UCL, hitting 103.8 of them per 90. Fabian Ruiz is next in line with 86.5, though there is a considerable drop-off after that pair. Verratti is 7/5 to play 90+ passes this evening, while Ruiz can be backed at 4/6 to beat a 70 passes target.
Bayern’s possession trends are similar to PSG’s, in that their 66% ball control figure in the Bundesliga reduces slightly to a more modest 58% in the Champions League, though the Bavarians did have a tough group to navigate.
Benjamin Pavard (91.3), Joshua Kimmich (75) and Dayot Upamecano (73.9) have been the most prominent Bayern performers in the passes per 90 stakes in the Champions League. Pavard probably won’t start this evening, so look to Kimmich (4/11) and Upamecano (4/9) in the 70+ passes arena instead.
PSG’s deep-lying playmaker Marco Verratti is one of football’s most-reliable card machines. The Italian has been cautioned seven times in just 16 Ligue 1 starts this term, while he has also collected four bookings in five appearances in the Champions League.
Verratti (11/10) is a prime candidate to enter the official’s notebook again this evening, as is master of the game’s dark arts, Sergio Ramos (8/5). Elsewhere, Achraf Hakimi (1.31 fouls p/90) loves to nip an ankle or two and the Moroccan looks backable at 4/11 to commit just one foul later on.
Joshua Kimmich has been building up a fine collection of bruises in the Bundesliga this season and the midfielder is also Bayern’s most-fouled player in the Champions League (1.6 per game). The 28-year-old’s tussle with PSG’s Verratti this evening should have plenty of needle.
Livewire creator Jamal Musiala adds penetration through the middle for Bayern and his line-breaking runs could put him on a collision course with Sergio Ramos. Kingsley Coman’s wing wizardry could spell trouble for Achraf Hakimi. Coman has been fouled 1.31 times per game in the UCL this season.
Match-Ups to watch
Marco Verratti vs Joshua Kimmich
Sergio Ramos vs Jamal Musiala
Achraf Hakimi vs Kingsley Coman
Bayern Munich Cards
We picked out Marco Veratti’s head-to-head with Joshua Kimmich as a duel with card-producing potential, and that works in both directions. Kimmich has been booked six times in the Bundesliga and Champions League in 2022/23, and the 28-year-old is good value at 21/10 to see yellow again here.
His midfield partner in crime, Leon Goretzka, is a steely presence in the middle of the pitch and the 28-year-old should turn heads at evens to commit 2+ fouls in Paris.
The burly Matthijs de Ligt doesn’t like defending against diminutive players with quick feet. The prospect of facing Lionel Messi will probably have the Dutchman in a cold sweat then and de Ligt is a good coupon filler at 3/10 to commit one foul today.
As we discussed above, key PSG tempo-setter Marco Verratti should be on Joshua Kimmich’s hit list this evening, while the serially-kicked Neymar, who has been fouled 3.4 times per UCL appearance this season, could be targeted by Leon Goretzka when the Brazilian does his deep-drifting thing.
Lionel Messi, who has been scythed down 1.54 times per 90 in Ligue 1 and 1.6 times per game in the UCL, could draw similar challenges from the physically imposing de Ligt.
Match-Ups to watch
Joshua Kimmich vs Marco Verratti
Leon Goretzka vs Neymar
Matthijs de Ligt vs Lionel Messi
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
There’s a few bet builder selections I liked the look of in this one, and I’ve made a link for you so you can load them in one click. Feel free to add or remove whichever you like too, the four of them come in at 11/2.
PSG vs Bayern
Jamal Musiala has 10 goals and 7 assists in 19 Bundesliga appearances this season.
Against much weaker opposition in Ligue 1, PSG have an xG against of 1.39.
Last time they met in a first leg, the result was 3-2 in PSG’s favour.
PSG average 5.70 corners per game.
Bayern concede an average of 4.05 corners per game.
PSG receive 1.96 cards per game in Ligue 1.
Bayern opponents in the Bundesliga average 1.55 cards.
Referee Michael Oliver averages 3.77 cards per game.
No PSG player has received more cards than Marco Verratti.
He’s averaging well over a foul a game, at 1.38.
Up against Jamal Musiala and Joshua Kimmich in midfield who average 1.52 and 1.57 fouls drawn p/90.