In the early hours of Monday morning (AEST), Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain will square off in the Champions League final in Lisbon.
Both teams have already won their domestic league and cup. Each is missing the most prestigious title in European club competition, the Champions League, to seal off what has been the most troubled season in recent history.
Experience is on the side of Bayern. The club and its players are used to the big stage. Notoriously German teams never give up and they never show contempt.
Bayern have won this competition five times from ten finals appearances and Paris have never made a final.
Paris Saint-Germain may crumble under the weight of history.
Bayern recently won the treble in the 2012-13 season. Five players captain Manuel Neuer, midfielders Thomas Müller and Javi Martinez and defenders Jerome Boateng and David Alaba are still a fundamental part of the team. Four of them were starters in the semifinal versus Lyon, with Javi Martinez on the bench.
Contrary to the seven titles won by clubs from Germany, France has seen only one of their teams winning the highest European title: Olympique Marseille in 1993.
Ironically that title was won in Munich.
Paris Saint-Germain are a relative newcomer in European football. The club was formed only in 1970, their only European success was in the now defunct Cup Winners’ Cup in 1996.
PSG fortunes changed with the arrivals of the current Qatari ownership, which poured money into the club signing superstars like Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Edinson Cavani, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé.
PSG has won seven of the last eight Ligue 1 titles.
What can we expect? A cracker of a game.
Both teams have incredible scoring potential, they never sit back and let the opponents control the game, so we can expect a fierce battle between the two.
PSG normally plays with three players up front: Neymar, Mbappé and Angel Di María, while Bayern has only Robert Lewandowski in the middle, with three midfielders, lately Serge Gnabry, Müller and Ivan Perisic attacking from the midfield.
The two different approaches that have nonetheless yielded extremely good for both teams.
The defenders will be tested to the extreme and the experience Thiago Silva and Kimpembe for PSG and Boateng and Alaba will have to be at their best, the two teams have a similar four defenders approach.
As the saying goes, the game will be won in the midfield. The team that will be able from one side to stop the opponents from launching their attacks and to create opportunities for its own will succeed. In this regard Bayern has the edge, as its players are more versatile and can gain control of this crucial area.
The prediction Whilst a maiden title for the Parisiens will be a welcomed addition to Champions League honour board, we see Bayern as the favourite.
The Rekordmeister has both experience and class to settle in for another night of celebrations but PSG will not give in easily.
Bayern 3 – PSG 2