The UEFA Champions League is back in action with a nail-biting quarterfinal fixture this week as Paris Saint-Germain lock horns with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday. Both teams go into this game without key players and will need to be at their best to get the better of a formidable opponent.
The two sides met in the UEFA Champions League final last year and Bayern Munich came away from the hard-fought affair with a 1-0 victory. Paris Saint-Germain were largely able to keep the Bavarians at bay on the day and will need a similar performance this week.
Bayern Munich face Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League this week
Bayern Munich will have to do without their talismanic striker Robert Lewandowski in this Champions League tie and the likes of Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane will have to step up in his absence. The reigning European champions have plenty of firepower in their ranks but will have to be at their best against Pochettino's side.
Paris Saint-Germain will welcome Neymar back into the fold for this game and their prowess on the counter can cause Bayern Munich a series of problems. Here are five key battles that could potentially decide the outcome of this high-octane fixture between two of Europe's most dangerous teams.
#5 Leon Goretzka vs Idrissa Gueye
Bayern Munich have always been known for their powerful German midfielders and Leon Goretzka epitomises the work rate and drive that has come to define the Bavarians' approach to the game for the past several decades. Goretzka's box-to-box abilities have eased Bayern Munich's transition over the past two years and have made Hansi Flick's side a formidable force.
The former Schalke 04 midfielder is one of the most well-rounded midfielders in the Bundesliga and his ability to complement his physicality with an abundance of technical flair makes Bayern Munich difficult to surpass. Leon Goretzka's prodigious talents will be put to the test against one of Paris Saint-Germain's most under-rated players this week.
While Neymar and Kylian Mbappe often run away with the accolades, Idrissa Gueye's performances in Paris Saint-Germain's midfield often fly under the radar. The defensive midfielder will be task with making Goretzka's life difficult on Wednesday and is perfectly equipped to nudge his German counterpart out of the game.
#4 Alphonso Davies vs Angel Di Maria
Alphonso Davies and Angel Di Maris were involved in an intriguing battle in last year's UEFA Champions League final and effectively managed to keep each other at bay on the day. Davies was a sensation in the Champions League last year and can be virtually unstoppable at his best.
The Canadian teenager has experienced a discernible dip in his fortunes this season but his abilities remain intact. Alphonso Davies will need to summon the full extent of his breathtaking dribbling abilities to get the better of the experienced Angel Di Maria.
Di Maria has a penchant for the big stage and can use his teammates' reputations to his advantage this week. The seasoned campaigner has the ability to turn a game on its head and can be pivotal to Paris Saint-Germain's chances in this fixture.