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Predicting the UCL Champions League Final

With the Champions League Final happening this weekend, it is time we make some predictions for how the game will go. TWSN analysts Christian De Block and Michael Vasconcelos discuss their thoughts on the final as well as giving a score prediction.

Christian: Going into this game, I am super excited to see how PSG sets up defensively against all the elite attackers from Bayern Munich. We all know what Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappé can do in their own right, but Paris need to keep a good shape in the back if they want any chance of winning this fixture.

In what could be his last match for the club, captain Thiago Silva will have the responsibility of keeping Robert Lewandowski off the score sheet. The 35-year-old centre back will need to limit the clear cut chances for the Polish international.

Under Hansi Flick, Bayern have been nearly unbeatable for the last ten months. Niko Kovač struggled to get the best out of this squad, but Flick has been able to turn the team back into a European powerhouse. 

One of the key duels that will occur in this game will be between Thilo Kehrer and Alphonso Davies. The Bayern fullback has been nothing short of sensational in the second half of the season, and will be a key part of their attack with his overlapping runs. Kehrer will need to contain Davies on the wing in order to limit his creativity.

As much as I would like to see Neymar prove he can win a major competition without Lionel Messi, I just see the Bayern attack scoring enough goals off PSG mistakes. Lewandowski will take his chances when he is in front of goal and win MOTM.

Score Prediction: 4-2 Bayern Munich over PSG

Mike: In a Champions League campaign that saw the early exit of plenty of familiar faces, the end sees two teams who suffocate other sides domestically but have both had their fair share of heartbreak in recent UCLs’ (Since winning the whole competition in 2013, Bayern haven’t even made the final since then. PSG, for as much money as they “invest” in their side, have never come this close) both in perhaps the best form of recent memory.

After a brutal start prior to 2020 under gaffer Niko Kovac, his replacement Hansi Flick has instilled a renaissance of the Bavarian giants. It just so happens that much of it coincides with the rise of Alphonso Davies into world class prominence. Simply put, the Canadian international is the type of rare defender who is a lethal offensive threat with his creative runs, beautiful through balls, and blistering pace all the way up through the final third.

However, the old guard has still found a way to be not only reliable, but perhaps they’ve found the fountain of youth. Thomas Müller, whose prior few years have looked like they’ve been in slow motion and much less effective in link-up play, has pleasantly surprised everybody this year by looking revitalized and as tricky and intelligent as he’s ever been (especially after Flick’s appointment). 

However, PSG’s not a side to “bend the knee”against the formidable German machine. The return of Angel Dí Maria proved to be crucial in the semi-final, as his dribbling was up to his typically divine technical standard and his passes tended to result in PSG’s best opportunities on goal. Although some may not like him due to his spotty past at Old Trafford under Louis Van Gaal, it’s hard for anybody to deny what he provides to an already high octane PSG side.

Without him, as we’ve seen in the quarterfinal, build up play can become a massive source of adversity with defenders keying in more on Neymar. However, the former Real Madrid star’s presence on the opposite wing will be vital to PSG capitalizing on every chance they have against arguably the world’s most complete side.

Overall, and it’s not even close to a bold statement, I’m predicting the toughest challenge for both sides that they’ve seen this year. However, I’ve got a feeling that especially with Kylian Mbappe at full strength, PSG’s front line is going to be too much to handle and shock the world in Lisbon. I’m predicting two goals from Mbappe and one from Neymar, and two assists from Dí Maria in a close victory.

Score Prediction: Paris Saint-Germain over Bayern München, 3-2

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