Paris Saint-Germain “desperately need to get their act together”, proclaims a Reuters article headlined ‘State of emergency at PSG ahead of Bayern Champions League clash’. While Bayern Munich started off the Rückrunde inauspiciously — three straight Bundesliga draws before a recovery in form — the Parisians have already lost thrice in 2023.
Olympique Marseille are the latest beneficiaries of PSG’s slide, knocking them out of the French Cup at the round of 16 on February 8 with a 2-1 victory. Rennes previously notched a 1-0 win on January 15, and RC Lens kicked off the new year with a 3-1 statement on January 1. All three teams are in the top five of the Ligue 1 table.
But Bayern Munich will present a step up in the challenge when they come to town for the Champions League tilt on February 14. Both teams are suffering injuries on top of their recent inconsistencies; Kylian Mbappé and even Lionel Messi are apparently doubts. On the Bayern side, Manuel Neuer, Lucas Hernández, Noussair Mazraoui, and Sadio Mané will all be significant absences.
PSG alum Edouard Cisse was quoted in L’Equipe (via the Reuters article) as saying: “When they get bumped into, nobody really responds. It’s always the same thing: if they can play at their pace, there’s no problem. As soon as the opposing team put on the intensity, they are lost.”
Whether or not the indictment is fair will play out on the field soon enough. From a Bayern perspective, it’s good to know that we aren’t the only fanbase prone to worry about the ever-changing state of the team’s form.
Injuries and absences aside, this will still be a momentous 50-50 clash, pairing two teams of Finals quality in just the Round of 16. In the end, one of them will have to endure heartbreak.