In the press conference previewing Bayern Munich’s Champions League final match-up against Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday, Hansi Flick revealed that both Benjamin Pavard and Jerome Boateng are fit and ready for the clash. Pavard marked his return to action by coming on as a sub late in the second half in the win over Lyon after being out for a few weeks with an ankle injury, and Boateng has been given the all clear after experiencing muscular problems in the Lyon match, which forced him to be replaced at the halftime interval.
When he was asked about Bayern’s back line, Flick said that he was not happy with the way his side defended overall in the 3-0 win over Lyon (AZ). The Ligue 1 side looked dangerous in the opening stages of the match and could've taken an early lead had it not been for some fine saves from Manuel Neuer. Flick pointed out the defensive vulnerabilities after the match: “In the first phase [of the match vs Lyon] we sometimes defended badly. We also had some careless ball losses that we have to clean that up.”
Flick has choices to make against Paris. He knows Bayern will be facing a speedy attacking trio of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Angel Di Maria. Because of the pace PSG possess in attack, he alluded to possibly making some defensive changes: “We know that Paris has very fast players. So we’ll have to see that we organize the defense somewhat differently.” This could potentially mean starting Pavard at right-back and moving Joshua Kimmich back to midfield and/or starting Niklas Süle in place of Boateng because he’s a bit quicker.
Boateng was replaced by Süle to start the second half against Lyon for what’s been described as muscular problems. Flick re-iterated that the decision was just precautionary (Bild). It currently looks like the center-back will be able to play on Sunday against Paris, Bild concluded.
Earlier today, Boateng completed a jogging session after being given the green light by Bayern’s team doctors. After jogging, he picked up the intensity and started doing some side-stepping and change of movement drills for some progressive load on his legs. Flick will have to decide whether he wants to start Süle or Boateng on Sunday, which will be a tough decision to make.
For PSG, it’s been confirmed that both Keylor Navas and Marco Verratti are fit and available to play in the final. Navas missed the semi-final clash against RB Leipzig with some muscular problems sustained in the win over Atalanta and Verratti had been dealing with a calf problem for a while before making a second-half cameo for 7 minutes against Leipzig.