Bayern Munich vs Paris Saint-Germain: Combined XI ahead of Champions League final

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The Champions League final is just one day away and it's one of the most fascinating match-ups in recent history.

Bayern Munich have embarked on an astonishing journey this season, now acknowledged as the strongest team in Europe despite losing 5-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt and sacking their manager in November.

Sure, their potency on the continent had been clear during the 7-2 demolition of Tottenham Hotspur, but it's only since the turn of the year that they've emerged as favourites to claim 'Big Ears'.

2020 Champions League final

However, they'll have to get past a plucky Paris Saint-Germain team that arguably have an even bigger motivation to win in Lisbon because it would mark the club's inaugural European title.

PSG were formed as recently as 1970 and after failing to make it past the quarter-finals for so long under their new owners, the 2019/20 season has been something of a watershed moment for the current side.

So, we're set to either have new European champions in a very literal sense or this young Bayern side could be 'new' title winners of a different nature despite their club's history in the competition.


PSG vs Bayern Munich

But ahead of that highly-anticipated first whistle in the Portuguese capital, it only makes sense to put both club's squads under the spotlight and assess which teams is looking the strongest.

And as cliché as it might be, there's no better way to pit PSG and Bayern's quality against each other than by constructing a combined XI and seeing which team earns the most selections.

With world-class players across the pitch for both sides, it was incredibly tough coming to a decision, but our final XI has resulted in a convincing 8:3 split that you can see down below:


GK - Manuel Neuer

He might not be the portable brick-wall he was during his peak, but Neuer is enjoying something of a second wind as Bayern's number one and has been vital in their Champions League run.

You only have to look at some of the crucial saves he made during the Lyon win to see exactly why the German is the sort of goalkeeper you know you can rely on in match-deciding moments.

Don't get me wrong, I think Keylor Navas is one of the most underrated players, never mind 'keepers, in world football; he just falls a tier short of Neuer's quality by my estimations.


RB - Joshua Kimmich

Unless your name is Trent Alexander-Arnold, you're not playing at right-back in a combined XI where Kimmich is an available option.

Colin Dagba and Thilo Kehrer are a long way behind the German in terms of quality, though that's hardly a dig considering their ages, and I'm sure every PSG fan will agree with me on that.


CB - Thiago Silva

It's testament to the Brazilian's quality that he deservedly earns a spot as PSG's first representative in the XI despite entering his last game for the club at 35 years young.

But it's no coincidence that top European clubs like Chelsea are still interested in his signature and we'd take him over Jerome Boateng and Niklas Süle on current form, no doubt about it.


CB - David Alaba

It's been incredible to see Alaba's transformation from a marauding left-back to one of the best central defenders in Europe - appearing 29 times in the heart of defence this season.

Give or take his hilarious own goal against Barcelona, Alaba slots into this team pretty uncontroversially and seeing him play alongside Silva would be a beautiful sight to behold.


LB - Alphonso Davies

It's absolutely terrifying to think that Davies isn't even the complete package yet, dropping stellar Champions League performances despite still learning his trade at 19 years old.

Nevertheless, the Canadian is almost impossible to beat one-on-one and uses his electric pace to reel in any forwards that do succeed, while his insane assist vs Barcelona tells you everything about his quality going forward.

Juan Bernat might have scored in the semi-final, but he's no Davies, that's for sure.


CM - Thiago Alcantara 

It's crazy to think Thiago could play his final game for Bayern on Sunday, drawing the curtains on a wildly successful seven-year stay and piquing the interest of Liverpool fans around the world.

It's no coincidence, either, with Thiago's metronymic passing football attracting plenty of admirers during the Champions League run this season and blowing all of his PSG counterparts out of the water.


CM - Leon Goretzka

We'll be the first people to admit that this position was the one of the toughest to decide in the entire XI and it's no slight on Marco Verratti that he'll be forced to settle for a place on the bench.

But it was just too hard for us to tear apart the Thiago-Goretzka combination, especially when the latter has played such a vital role in their domestic and European dominance.

Goretzka proves a swash-buckling physical presence in the centre, note his stunning body transformation, while still offering the sort of technical ability that sparked his sensational assist against Barca.


RW - Serge Gnabry

Fresh from scoring two goals in the semi-final win over Lyon, including an Arjen Robben-esque screamer, knowledge of Gnabry's astronomic rise at Bayern has never been more widespread.

Fear not, this isn't at the expense of a certain Brazilian - our formation will become clear very soon - but we couldn't help shifting around the tactics to include the former Arsenal man and his 23 goals this season.


CAM - Neymar

It pains us greatly to leave Thomas Muller out of the side, especially after his Man of the Match display in the 8-2 Barcelona thrashing and his 21 assists on the way to Bundesliga glory.

Nevertheless, Neymar is one of the five best footballers in the world and don't be deceived by his lack of goals since the restart, he was simply brilliant in both the quarter-final and semi-final wins.

It would be shortsighted not to include someone who is surely on course for FIFA The Best award contention.


LW - Kylian Mbappe

I think we can all agree on this one. It says everything about Mbappe's quality that scoring 30 goals in 36 appearances at the age of 21 actually represents something of a middle-of-the-road season.

But don't get it twisted, the World Cup winner is only 90 minutes away from completing football and will be doing everything in his power to show exactly why he'll be a Ballon d'Or winner one day.


ST - Robert Lewandowski

Like, duh. Lewandowski is the best player in world football right now, amassing an astonishing 55 goals in all competitions this season and scoring in every single Champions League fixture.

The only negative that has come from Lewandowski's campaign is the fact he's been robbed of the Ballon d'Or by France Football's controversial decision to cancel the awards ceremony.

Nevertheless, he's already lifted the accolade in the minds of every football fan, while Cristiano Ronaldo's Champions League scoring record for a single season could also be his to claim.


GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

As much as it would be nice for PSG to finally get their hands on the trophy that this entire project has been building up to, it's hard to see a world in which Bayern don't emerge victorious.

Even during the semi-final in which Lyon posed them serious problems early on, there was a damning feeling of nonchalance that the Bavarians could simply outscore them if they had taken their chances.

Besides, we're talking about a team that smashed seven and ten goals past Chelsea and Spurs respectively across two games, while unforgettably killing off Barcelona in an 8-2 mauling.


PSG have too much attacking quality for them not to score at any point, but this Bayern team seems to hit everybody for at least three goals and that will surely be impossible to overcome.

Sure, I might be at the mercy of Mbappe's Twitter account if I'm proven to be completely wrong, but I'm predicting a scoreline akin to Bayern 3-1 PSG at the very closest.

Sorry, Paris, but this Bayern team is something else.

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