Bayern Munich: Three things to watch for in UCL quarterfinal first leg

Serge Gnabry, Bayern Munich. (Photo by MATTHIAS BALK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Serge Gnabry, Bayern Munich. (Photo by MATTHIAS BALK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Bayern Munich will face Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. The two clubs will meet for the first time since Bayern defeated PSG in the Champions League final in the 2019/20 edition of the competition.

PSG had a much tougher tie in the round of 16 as they came up against Barcelona. However, the overall scoreline was emphatic for the French club, sending warning signs to all top clubs in Europe. Die Roten will be facing a stern test on Wednesday, so here are three things to watch for ahead of the first leg.

Can Bayern stop Mbappe?

Kylian Mbappe was one of the key reasons why PSG was able to comfortably defeat Barcelona in the Round of 16. The French forward scored four of the five goals PSG recorded over the course of the two legs as they won 5-2 over the La Liga club.

Mbappe will likely test the Bayern backline as he is one of the most talented players they have had to face so far this season. After his incredible display against Barcelona, preventing Mbappe from scoring will have to be a key to victory for Bayern. He registered a hat-trick in the first leg of the Round of 16 and Bayern cannot let that happen or it could be all over after the first leg of the quarterfinals.

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Goals from different sources

Bayern will be without Robert Lewandowski on Wednesday which means they will have to look for different sources of goals. Leon Goretzka already stepped up against RB Leipgiz to deliver a 1-0 victory in the Bundesliga this past weekend.

Although Goretzka will likely be in the starting 11 for this fixture, goals will need to come from different sources if Bayern is going to defeat PSG. One of those players who can step in to score goals in this match is Serge Gnabry. He could be the choice to start in the striker role after entering as a second-half substitute against Leipzig. Gnabry will be well-rested and up for the challenge that awaits. He’ll be a key player to watch for if he does indeed make the starting 11.

Will PSG be able to bounce back after Lille defeat?

One of the main differences between PSG’s 2019/20 and the 2020/21 campaigns has been their performance in Ligue 1. After winning the title comfortably last season, they are amidst a fierce battle for the top spot this season.

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Since defeating Barcelona, they have lost two of their last three Ligue 1 fixtures. These two recent defeats included another setback this past weekend when they fell 1-0 to Lille. It will be interesting to see if this will have an impact on how PSG performs against Bayern on Wednesday as they allowed Lille to create a three-point gap at the top of the table.