Barcelona vs Bayern Munich promises to be an epic clash between two of the most dominant teams in European football at the moment. In the past 5 seasons of the Champions League, Barcelona and Bayern Munich combined have won the competition thrice.
Ironically, out of the two Champions League wins for Barcelona their manager was current Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola. This will be the first time that Guardiola will face Barcelona since leaving Camp Nou for Alliamz Arena in 2013.
Bayern Munich come in to the game securing their second successive Bundesliga title while Barcelona are coming off an impressive, to say the least, 8-0 win over Cordoba.
Team News – Barcelona
Barcelona have no injury issues and Luis Enrique can pick from the complete squad available at his disposal.
In recent times, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic have formed a great partnership at the heart of Barcelona’s midfield while just the mention of front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar is enough to send shivers to opponent’s spines.
Predicted Barcelona line-up to face Bayern Munich
Team News – Bayern Munich
Pep Guardiola will have to dig deep in to his coaching manual to come up with a line-up without the likes of Arjen Robben, Frank Robery, David Alaba and Javi Martinz. The Spaniard will be hopeful for his star striker Robert Lewandowski to be fit for this game after suffering a broken jaw against FC Porto.
Thiago Alcantara has been in superb form in recent weeks and he will be a key player for Guardiola tonight as he would look to count on Philippe Lahm and Bastian Schweinstiger to control Bayern’s play and rely on Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze to provide able support to Robert Lewandowski.
Predicted Bayern Munich line-up to face Barcelona
Luis Suarez vs Jerome Boatang
Former Liverpool striker has grown in stature since moving to Camp Nou this season. His movements and link-up play with Neymar and Messi have evolved over the season. Even though, Boatang woul dhave loved not to be near Suarez for the entire game but he will have the duty of stopping Suarez from making runs in the box and feeding Messi and Neymar.
Robert Lewandowski vs Javier Mascherano
Despite all his intelligent play, Mascheranno does lack in the physical aspect of the defending and someone line Robert Lewandowski, who can bully any defender in the world will thrive on playing against Mascherano. I am sure the Polish striker will pick Mascherano as his man and try to win the balls in order to let Muller and Gotze enjoy the space in front of them.
Messi-Neymar vs Bayern full-backs
Rafinha and Bernat are in for a torrid time against the best wide men (Messi and Neymar) in the game at the moment. This game could be decided on the fact how well Messi & Neymar play or how much Rafinha and Bernat are able to contain them.
- Barcelona is the only remaining team to have scored in all 10 games of UCL this season.
- Barcelona won their last eight Champions League games, scoring 19 goals and conceding only four.
- Barcelona is the only team to win all four games of the 1/16 and 1/8 rounds this season.
- Bayern Munich lost two of their last three away games in all competitions.
- Bayern Munich managed to score six or more goals in three games this UCL season (Group Stage; 1/16; 1/8).
- Bayern Munich has failed to win its last three away games in the UCL (2L and 1D).
- Bayern Munich failed to score in just one game this UCL season out of 10 games: the 0-0 vs Shakhtar Donetsk.
Stats credits: Opta
Image credits: lineupbulder, grup14