It is Nike vs Adidas as the 2019/20 European football season finally draws to a conclusion this weekend in Lisbon. The 2020 Champions League final pits five time champions Bayern Munich (in Adidas) against first time finalists Paris Saint-Germain (in Nike)- Germany v France in the Portuguese capital.
While this will be played on neutral territory, PSG are the designated home side and will therefore be donning their primary strip against the Bavarian giants. Thomas Tuchel’s side wore their white away kit in the quarterfinal against Atalanta before switching to their home uniform for the semi-final against RB Leipzig.
Like their French opponents, Bayern have also switched between their home and away tops- they wore the home one in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie against Chelsea and the semi-final against Leipzig, and the alternate one in their 8-2 win over Barcelona.
Bayern are the third German team PSG are playing in the 19/20 edition of the tournament- they beat Borussia Dortmund in the Round of 16, and saw off the challenge of RB Leipzig in the last four. The three teams finished first, second and third respectively in this season’s Bundesliga, and PSG manager Thomas Tuchel (a German himself!) will be looking to complete a hat trick of victories against the country of his birth.
The odds at BettingScanner reveal that Bayern are favourites (9/8 vs 23/10 for PSG at the time of writing), and it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise given the Bavarians’ stunning form. They put on a masterclass as they demolished Lionel Messi’s Barca 8-2 in the quarters, and haven’t lost a game in this calendar year. The last six first time finalists in this competition have all come up short at this stage of the competition and Bayern, with five titles in their cabinet, have experience on their side.
The last first time finalist to win the CL was Dortmund (back in 1997 against Juventus)
Bayern’s route to the final
100% record in their group, 6 wins out of 6, 24 goals scored (the most of any team in the GS)
Beat Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate in the Round of 16
Beat Barcelona 8-2 in the quarterfinals
Beat Olympique Lyonnais 3-0 in the semis
If there is a slight vulnerability to Bayern though, it’s in their backline. Their high defensive line is vulnerable to attacks on the counter- Lyon, for example, had two fantastic opportunities to score before the Bavarian giants netted the game opener through Serge Gnabry. Memphis Depay and Karl Toko Ekambi both fluffed their lines for OL, but it’s unlikely that Kylian Mbappe and Neymar will repeat the same mistakes if given similar chances.
The two sides last met in the group stages of the 17/18 campaign- PSG won 3-0 in Paris, but Bayern took the return tie 3-1 in Munich.
The Lyon semi-final would have given PSG plenty of ideas on how to stop the Bayern juggernaut, and this is a game that pits two German managers (Thomas Tuchel of Paris and Hansi Flick of Bayern) against each other.
The last Champions League trophy won by a Nike wearing team was Barcelona in 2015. The UEL trophy this year has been lifted by Sevilla (a Nike team). Will PSG make it a Nike double in Europe, or will Bayern in Adidas coast to their sixth title?
Paris SG v Bayern on 23 August, 2020 in Lisbon.