Robert Lewandowski has scored against Paris Saint-Germain before, and will be looking to find the net against in the UEFA Champions League final. - © Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images
Robert Lewandowski has scored against Paris Saint-Germain before, and will be looking to find the net against in the UEFA Champions League final. - © Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images

5 reasons Bayern Munich will beat Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League final


Bayern Munich have steamrollered their way into the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League final with comprehensive wins over Chelsea, Barcelona and Lyon, and now only Paris Saint-Germain stand between the Bavarian giants and a sixth continental crown.

>> Click here for the PSG-Bayern team news and LIVE blog! has come up with five reasons why the French champions should be trembling at the prospect of facing their German counterparts at the Estadio da Luz on Sunday…

1) Lewy leading a lethal attack

Robert Lewandowski has scaled greater heights than ever before in 2019/20. Bayern's lean, mean, goal machine has top scored in the Bundesliga (34), the DFB Cup (6) and the Champions League itself (15), with his eye-watering tally of 55 making him by far the most prolific striker in Europe.

Thiago Silva and Co. will certainly have their hands full trying to contain the 31-year-old, a dead-eyed finisher who is also one of the world's best with his back to goal. He boasts an altruistic side, too, having teed up his teammates nine times in the Bundesliga (4) and the Champions League (5) this season.

Robert Lewandowski (r.) is a goal-scoring machine, and he has the perfect supporting cast with the likes of Serge Gnabry (l.) and Thomas Müller (c.) helping him. - imago images

However, if you think PSG can get away with focusing all of their defensive efforts on Lewandowski, think again. The Pole will be surrounded by a five-star supporting cast – who had indeed already scored five goals in the quarter-final against Barcelona by the time their irrepressible No.9 finally got on the scoresheet.

Serge Gnabry was Bayern's semi-final hero, scoring a cracker and then slipping in from close range to put the five-time European champions on course for Sunday's showpiece. The 25-year-old was also the scourge of the London clubs this term, scoring four against Tottenham in the group stage and a brace in the last-16 first leg against Chelsea. With nine goals in total, he lies third in the Champions League scoring charts behind Lewandowski and Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland (10). Throw in another 12 goals in the Bundesliga and two in the DFB Cup, and Gnabry is enjoying his highest-scoring season to date.

Meanwhile, Thomas Müller gave the world a timely reminder of his remarkable gifts in the 8-2 win over Barca, slamming home the opener after a lovely one-two with Lewandowski and then sneaking a poacher's goal at the near post to all but settle the contest at 4-1. The Bundesliga's record single-season assist provider even set up Philippe Coutinho late on for good measure.

Watch: How Lewandowski has become the world's best No.9

With Coutinho, Ivan Perisic and their former player Kingsley Coman also in the mix, PSG are guaranteed to have their work cut out at the back. Bayern have netted 42 goals in 10 Champions League outings this season – an average of over four per game – and the danger really can come from anywhere.

2) Davies, Bayern's not-so-secret weapon

Who could have imagined, a year ago, that Alphonso Davies would be billed as one of the key players to watch going into Bayern's 11th European Cup or Champions League final? The 19-year-old's progress has been simply extraordinary, as lightning-quick as the sprints that have earned him the nickname "Road Runner" amongst his teammates.

A phenomenal athlete who currently owns the Bundesliga speed record (22.7mph), the Canada international's success is down to more than just his blistering pace. He also has technique, vision, crossing ability and ever-improving anticipation, which are helping him to make a significant difference for Hansi Flick's side at both ends of the pitch.

Lionel Messi and Barcelona were no match for Alphonso Davies in the quarter-final stage, as the Bayern Munich left-back's stock continues to rise. - Peter Schatz / Pool / IMAGO Images

Consider Joshua Kimmich's fifth goal against Barcelona, which snuffed out any hopes of a Catalan comeback following Luis Suarez's fine finish for 4-2. After picking up possession on the left flank, Davies skipped past Lionel Messi and Arturo Vidal before being brought to a halt by Nelson Semedo. One clever jink and he was past his man and bursting up the byline, giving Kimmich a simple finish from five yards out.

"That assist, wow! It was world class," teammate Jerome Boateng declared afterwards. "It's not often there's such a talented youngster who explodes like that and finds their position. I'm happy for him because he's a really likeable boy away from the pitch. There's still so much potential there. It wasn't his regular position in the past, so you can still expect more from him. He's still going to get much better."

Davies is likely to line up opposite Angel Di Maria, who has arguably been PSG's best player this season, but the Argentine could see his creative influence stifled with the Canadian buzzing around him – just ask Lyon's Karl Toko Ekambi. Kylian Mbappe has also been known to target the right flank and is certainly no slouch, but the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner may not fancy being drawn into a footrace with Bayern's turbo-charged No.19.

Alphonso Davies (r.) will be hoping to have Jerome Boateng (l.) for support in the Bayern Munich defence on Sunday. - dam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images

3) In the form of their lives

Are there any weaknesses in this Bayern side? If so, Flick is doing a tremendous job of keeping them under wraps, because his team are enjoying a staggering run of 28 wins and a solitary draw since mid-December 2019. Goals scored 97. Goals conceded 22.

Bayern are currently operating as a seamless unit: defending high up the pitch, pressing with incredible intensity and then transitioning rapidly, punishing opponents with military-grade precision thanks to their high-tempo, one-touch attacking play. Crucially, Flick's men never stop working for each other. As a team, they covered over six miles more than Barcelona in the quarter-final, while in the semis they dominated possession, seeing 64 per cent of the ball and making almost twice as many passes (676) as Lyon (353).

Boateng and David Alaba's central defensive partnership has been a revelation, although the former could be replaced by the returning Niklas Süle for the final after tweaking a muscle against Lyon. Kimmich has slotted back in effortlessly at right-back in the absence of the injured Benjamin Pavard, and is likely to keep his place even if the Frenchman is also fit again. After all, the midfield double-pivot of Thiago and Leon Goretzka has been operating very smoothly indeed. As their final rampart, the Bavarians also boast perhaps the greatest goalkeeper of all time in Manuel Neuer. An inspirational leader and captain, the 34-year-old was in excellent form against Lyon and remains the undisputed No.1 for club and country.

Watch: All 100 of Bayern's goals in 2019/20

Throughout the season, Neuer and his defensive stalwarts have managed to keep the big boys quiet. Harry Kane could only score from the penalty spot as the German champions helped themselves to 10 goals in two meetings with Spurs, while Messi barely got a look-in as his team fell to the heaviest European defeat in their history. Even in the Bundesliga, Bayern limited RB Leipzig to a single goal in two meetings and didn't concede at all against Dortmund. Mbappe and Neymar, take note.

4) History on Bayern's side

To say that Bayern have greater experience than PSG at this level is a serious understatement. Germany's most decorated club have already reached the European Cup or Champions League final on no fewer than 10 occasions, going home with "Old Big Ears" five times: in 1974, 1975, 1976, 2001 and most recently in 2013, after beating Dortmund in the first all-German showdown at Wembley.

PSG, on the other hand, will be experiencing dizzying new heights at the Estadio da Luz. This is their first Champions League final, with their previous best run taking them to the semi-finals in 1994/95. The French club have enjoyed modest European success, lifting the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1996 and the Intertoto Cup in 2001, but their continental trophy haul pales in comparison to Bayern's.

Thomas Müller and Manuel Neuer (c.) were just two of the five players that played a role in the 2013 treble win, lifting the Champions League trophy at Wembley after a 2-1 win over Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund. - imago/Laci Perenyi

Seven years ago, Jupp Heynckes' free-scoring side went on to claim an unprecedented treble of Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB Cup, but there is evidence to suggest that Flick's Class of 2019/20 are an even more formidable prospect as they try to repeat the feat.

The two clubs have crossed swords eight times in this competition before, with Paris narrowly leading the head-to-head 5-3, but this will be their first winner-takes-all knockout encounter. The French giants have suffered plenty of ignominious Champions League exits after breezing through the group stage in recent years, and the huge pressure of trying to land their first-ever title could easily take its toll, especially if Bayern seize an early lead.

5) Chic Flick

Like Davies, Flick was still a relative unknown this time a year ago, and has risen to global prominence since stepping into the Bayern hotseat in November. But the 55-year-old has actually been involved in football management for over 25 years, honing skills that allowed him to walk into one of the most high-profile jobs in the game and transform Bayern from a wounded beast into a rampaging behemoth now playing the best football on the planet.

"We can give ourselves a pat on the back for choosing Hansi Flick last November and putting our faith in him," purred Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, a two-time Ballon d'Or winner who knows quality when he sees it. "He's brought back important values to the team and the club. We're not only winning but playing highly attractive football. After great coaches like Louis van Gaal, Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola, we're heading into another successful era."

High praise indeed, but no less than Flick deserves after restoring Bayern to their former glory – on the continental stage at any rate. A brilliant analyst with minute attention to detail and impressive man management skills, the former Bayern midfielder began coaching in the lower leagues before a stint under Giovanni Trapattoni at  Red Bull Salzburg. His big break then came in 2006, as he was appointed Germany assistant coach under Joachim Löw.

Together, the two men took Die Mannschaft back to the summit of world football at the 2014 FIFA World Cup – and there was more than a hint of Germany's famous 7-1 win over hosts Brazil in Bayern's 8-2 demolition of Barcelona.

Having been employed as a coach, an assistant coach and a sporting director (with the DFB and Hoffenheim), Flick has held a varied range of roles which seem to have prepared him ideally for the demands of Säbener Straße. There have been no apparent cobwebs as he has assumed his first head coaching job since his stint with TSG in the early 2000s – and if he leads Bayern to another treble on Sunday, you can guarantee he won't be going anywhere in a hurry.

Quiz: Bayern's 2019/20 Champions League campaign so far...