Holders Bayern Munich face a test of their ability to defend their Champions League crown without top-scoring striker Robert Lewandowski at home to embattled Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday.
A knee injury has ruled Lewandowski out of both the quarter-final home leg at the Allianz Arena and the return in Paris next Tuesday.
The timing could not be worse with Lewandowski sidelined for the two-legged repeat of last season’s Champions League final when a Kingsley Coman header gave Bayern the title after a 1-0 win over PSG.
Of the 103 goals Bayern have scored either in the Bundesliga or Champions League this season, Lewandowski has contributed to 46 of them with either a goal or an assist.
Yet Bayern proved at the weekend that they can win a big game without him.
Leon Goretzka hit the winner in Saturday’s 1-0 victory at second-placed RB Leipzig to leave Bayern seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.
“Obviously, they are better with Lewandowski,” Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann said of Bayern. “But they have a world-class team and brilliant players to play in his place.”
Having already faced Leipzig, Lewandowski’s understudy Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is set to make only his third Champions League start this season against his former club.