Per a report from Bild (+), Bayern Munich’s Hansi Flick plans on starting Serge Gnabry instead of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting at striker against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League later this week.
The latter started up front in Bayern’s 1-0 win over RB Leipzig over the weekend and Gnabry came on as a second half substitute, which, in hindsight, was probably a tactical decision from Flick to save Gnabry as much as he could, knowing that he’d be starting him up front against PSG.
Of course, these adjustments have been made given the fact that Robert Lewandowski faces up to four weeks on the sidelines due to a knee injury he sustained on international duty with Poland.
By all accounts, Choupo-Moting didn’t have a poor outing against Leipzig. In fact, he won 54% of his duels, which for a striker, is a relatively high number and impressive for someone who primarily serves as a backup to Lewandowski. From a tactical standpoint, Flick is probably opting to start Gnabry because of the pace he provides as well as his finishing ability. He’s been in fine scoring form for Germany playing as the outright striker ahead of Chelsea’s Timo Werner as of late.
Against PSG, Gnabry’s pace is preferred over Choupo-Moting’s physical, aerial presence, without discrediting his abilities whatsoever. PSG will have a lot of pace to be worried about with (presumably) Gnabry, Thomas Muller, Kingsley Coman, and Leroy Sane attacking against them.
Bild is also reporting that Flick is likely going to start Lucas Hernandez instead of Alphonso Davies at left-back. Flick doesn’t want to make any changes to the back four that kept a clean sheet against RB Leipzig over the weekend. That back four was comprised of Hernandez, David Alaba, Niklas Sule, and Benjamin Pavard. Of course, for that match, Davies was serving a one-match, red card suspension. It’s likely that Flick just wants to keep the backline consistent because he liked what he saw against a pacey, troublesome Leipzig attack which will be just as prevalent amongst the PSG side they’ll face midweek.