'Perfect group stage not rewarded' - Nagelsmann expecting tricky tie with PSG

By Sports Desk November 07, 2022

Julian Nagelsmann feels Bayern Munich's 100 per cent record in the Champions League group stage was "not rewarded" after being drawn against Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16.

Nagelsmann's men won all six group games to finish top of Group C, including home and away victories over Inter and Barcelona, becoming the first side in competition history to be victorious in all of their group matches in back-to-back seasons.

Despite this, Monday's draw pitted Bayern against French champions PSG, who boast the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in their squad.

Nagelsmann believes his team have not received the full benefit for their group-stage heroics, telling reporters: "PSG are a difficult opponent.

"The perfect group phase is not rewarded with [drawing that opponent] - they have a lot of world-class players just like we do. 

"But this is the Champions League, so it's normal that there are no easy opponents in the round of 16."

PSG themselves went undefeated in the group stage, winning four and drawing two of their matches.

But a remarkable 6-1 win for Benfica over Maccabi Haifa on the final matchday saw Christophe Galtier's team have top spot snatched off them by virtue of the Portuguese side scoring more away goals.

Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn echoed Nagelsmann's sentiments on the difficulty of the draw, but also spoke of his excitement over watching two of Europe's elite clubs face off in a repeat of the 2019-20 final, which the Bavarian side won 1-0 thanks to a Kingsley Coman winner.

"We can look forward to two great games with the best players in Europe," Kahn told Sky. "I think these will be two highly attractive games."

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    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    San Jose Earthquakes – Jeremy Ebobisse

    Ebobisse has scored five goals in seven career matches against Austin FC. Only Jesus Ferreira (6) has scored more MLS goals against the Verde.

    Austin – Sebastian Driussi

    Driussi has scored seven goals in seven career games against the Earthquakes. No player has scored more goals against a single opponent than Driussi against San Jose since he joined MLS in 2021.

    MATCH PREDICTION: SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES WIN

    Austin recorded their first-ever win over San Jose on April 6 with a 4-3 home victory (D5 L2). There have been at least four goals scored in five of the eight matches between the sides, including a pair of seven-goal games.

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    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    San Jose Earthquakes – 41.2%

    Draw – 28.6%

    Austin – 30.2%

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