FEATURE | 3 storylines to watch out for in this week’s Champions League ties

Amidst all the chaos of the domestic season, the Champions League returns this week with some enticing matches that could yield some interesting storylines. Here’s three you should watch out for this week:

Could Thomas Tuchel depart Bayern Munich early?

Bayern Munich have their second leg against Lazio and they are trailing by a solitary goal following a 1-0 loss in Rome. Head coach Thomas Tuchel has already reached a mutual decision with the club to part ways at the end of the season. However, as reported via our colleagues at Get German Football News, failure to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals could jeopardise Tuchel’s position immediately. Despite being six-time champions of the competition, Bayern has only secured one victory in their last five outings across all competitions. This leaves them 10 points behind the Bundesliga frontrunners Bayer Leverkusen. As well as this, they were knocked out of the DFB Pokal by lower league opposition earlier in the season – this could be Bayern’s last chance at silverware this season.

Can Real Sociedad overturn a 2-0 deficit?

Real Sociedad will look to overturn a two goal deficit as they face PSG at the Reale Arena on Tuesday night. In the initial encounter, the French side endured a relentless onslaught in the first half but a solid second half gave them a 2-0 win. Kylian Mbappé and Bradley Barcola got the job done for the Parisiens that night, however their star man has only featured in 138 minutes out of a possible 270 since. Manager Luis Enrique has said: “Sooner or later we will play without Mbappé, we have to get used to that.” The 25-year-old was taken off at half-time of the Ligue 1 champions match away Monaco on Friday. Following the Frenchman’s decision to leave the club at the end of the season, it will be interesting to see if he is used for the whole 90 minutes against Real Sociedad on Tuesday.

Can RB Leipzig knock out Real Madrid?

RB Leipzig might just be playing Real Madrid at the worst time as the Spanish side will be powered by injustice following a bizarre decision that went against them at the weekend. Madrid go back to the Santiago Bernabéu with a one goal advantage thanks to the brilliance of Brahim Diaz at the Red Bull Arena three weeks ago. However, Leipzig might fancy their chances as Carlo Ancelotti’s side conceded several opportunities in the first leg, notably to Benjamin Šeško. But heroic saves from Andriy Lunin ensured that Los Blancos departed with a slender lead. Since that game Madrid have failed to win in two of their three games played in La Liga. They settled for a 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano, narrowly edged past Sevilla 1-0, and were embroiled in controversy during their recent encounter with Valencia.

Get Football | Ewan Minns

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