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Paris Saint-Germain v Bayern Munich Champions League preview: Familiar foes renew rivalry

Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich have become familiar foes in the Champions League over recent seasons and they will lock horns once again in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.

They may be playing on Valentine's Day, but there will be no love lost when these two European heavyweights meet, as it will be the fourth time in six seasons that they have gone head-to-head in Europe's premier club competition.

The most infamous of those clashes came in the 2020 final, which Bayern won by a goal to nil to be crowned European champions for a sixth time, while that loss in Lisbon is as close as PSG have come to lifting the illustrious 'big-eared' trophy.

With a place in the quarter-finals of this year's competition at stake, this promises to be another enthralling chapter in the growing rivalry between these two teams, with Tuesday's first leg potentially going a long way to deciding which team progresses.

Whoever does make it through the tie will further boost their chances of going all the way in this season's competition. PSG are 8/1 in the To Win Outright tournament market, while Bayern are 11/2.

WhatPSG v Bayern Munich
WhereParc des Princes, Paris, France
When20:00, Tuesday 14th February 
How to watchBT Sport 2
OddsPSG 8/5, Draw 13/5, Bayern Munich 31/20

Growing rivalry set for new chapter

Prior to the 2017/18 season, PSG and Bayern Munich had rarely met at European football's top table, but following a pair of group stage encounters that term, they have since become familiar foes.

It was Bayern that won the most famous meeting between the two sides, with a second-half goal from Kingsley Coman sealing victory for the Bavarians in the 2020 final, but PSG gained their revenge the following season, triumphing on away goals during a quarter-final tie.

PSG are 8/5 in the Full Time Result market to secure another victory on Tuesday, while Bayern are 31/20 and the draw is 13/5.

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Fine margins have set up heavyweight contest

PSG were eliminated at the Round of 16 stage of last year's competition, going down to eventual champions Real Madrid, and they would have been hoping for a much easier tie to start the knockout stages this year.

Christophe Galtier's side certainly appeared on course to top their group, but they were pipped to first spot by Benfica on away goals scored after the Portuguese giants netted 6 in their final group game at Maccabi Haifa.

That left the Parisians unseeded for the draw and meant they were always at risk of being pitted against a team of Bayern's quality. The German champions romped through a difficult-looking group that also contained Inter Milan and Barcelona to reach the knockout stages without dropping a single point.

Ominously for PSG, Bayern have progressed from the last 16 stage in nine of the last 10 seasons and the Bundesliga outfit are 8/15 To Qualify from the tie overall, while the Parisians are 11/8 in the same market.

Form an issue for PSG, while Bayern are improving

To make matters worse for PSG, their form heading into this tie has seemingly fallen off a cliff, as they have lost four times across all competitions since the turn of the year, including back-to-back defeats to Marseille in the Coupe de France and Monaco in Ligue 1.

However, the good news for Galtier and his troops is that all of those defeats have come on the road, with their record at the Parc des Princes proving much more solid, as they are unbeaten in their 15 games at the venue this season, winning 12 and drawing just three.

PSG are 8/5 to take a lead into next month's second leg and they will take further hope from Bayern dropping points in three of their six matches since the World Cup break.

The only problem with that is all those dropped points came in their first three matches of 2023, with Bayern bouncing back to register wins over Mainz and Bochum in the Bundesliga and Wolfsburg in the DFB Pokal.

Both sides remain top of their domestic leagues despite their recent wobbles, with PSG sitting five points clear in Ligue 1, while Bayern's advantage in the Bundesliga is just a solitary point.

Concerns over Messi and Mbappe

PSG have fitness concerns to contend with heading into Tuesday's first leg, although Galtier has stated that Lionel Messi will be available to feature despite missing Saturday's defeat to Monaco with a hamstring injury.

Messi - 7/4 in the Anytime Scorer market - could be joined in the starting XI by another returning player Marco Verratti, but doubts remain over the fitness of Kylian Mbappe, who has returned to training following a thigh issue but may not be ready in time for this one.

Bayern's main injury concern surrounds experienced forward Thomas Muller, who limped out of the weekend victory over Bochum with an apparent calf issue, although the player himself is optimistic that he will recover in time.

Ryan Gravenberch, Noussair Mazraoui, Lucas Hernandez and Sadio Mane are already on the Bayern treatment table, as is goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, with January recruit Yann Sommer set to make his Champions League debut for the club between the sticks.

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