CHRIS SUTTON: Spaceman Thomas Muller takes Bayern Munich into a different orbit… there is NO WAY the Champions League final will be 0-0

No way this Champions League final finishes 0-0.

No way at least one of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Angel di Maria, Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller or Serge Gnabry doesn’t score.

One major talking point has been Bayern Munich’s high defensive line and how Paris Saint-Germain could take advantage of that. It has prompted suggestions that Bayern could do something very uncharacteristic by sitting deep in a bid to stifle their opponents.

CHRIS SUTTON: Thomas Muller takes Bayern Munich into a different orbit

Thomas Muller has the ability to take Bayern Munich up to an even higher level of performance

CHRIS SUTTON: Thomas Muller takes Bayern Munich into a different orbit

He has been instrumental in recent wins, taking them to the Champions League final

Even if Mbappe will relish being given the space to run into, I can’t see the Germans changing their system. Bayern, unbeaten in 29 games, are used to winning a certain way: they press to win the ball back, they push their full backs forward and, in doing so, leave their centre backs to put out any fires. 

That may leave them exposed but it was enough to beat Barcelona 8-2, and Chelsea 7-1 and Tottenham 10-3 over two legs.

It’s risk and reward. In the quarter-finals, Barca could have scored four times in the opening 10 minutes. In the semi-finals, Lyon should have opened the scoring. But Bayern prevailed in both ties.

CHRIS SUTTON: Thomas Muller takes Bayern Munich into a different orbit

Muller creates room for his team-mates, earning him the ‘space investigator’ nickname

That’s what makes this final so fascinating: Bayern know they may concede, but they also believe they will get goals themselves.

Of all the star names, Muller is particularly interesting in the way he makes room for himself and his team-mates.

In Germany, his nickname is Raumdeuter — the space investigator. Rewatch that 3-0 win over Lyon and you’ll see him play an invisible part in each goal.

For Bayern’s first, his run forces Lyon defender Marcelo to follow him and opens up space for Gnabry to run into before scoring. For the second, his charge into the six-yard box means he is marked and Lewandowski is free behind. The striker messes up tapping in but Gnabry picks up the pieces. 

CHRIS SUTTON: Thomas Muller takes Bayern Munich into a different orbit

Bayern Munich know they may concede, but will be confident they can get more goals

For the third, Muller positions himself between two Lyon markers. Marcelo, the man behind him, seems distracted and is too preoccupied to contest the ball properly. As a result, he is beaten in the air by Lewandowski.

That’s what Muller does. I’m backing the German champions to win the trophy but, mark my words, there will be goals.

Score prediction: 3-2 to Bayern.


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