Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich; predicted lineups and team news
Barcelona will be aiming to avenge the 7-0 aggregate loss they suffered against Bayern Munich in the 2012/13 Champions League season when both sides clash in this year’s semi-final. The first leg of the encounter, at the Camp Nou on … Continue reading
Barcelona will be aiming to avenge the 7-0 aggregate loss they suffered against Bayern Munich in the 2012/13 Champions League season when both sides clash in this year’s semi-final.
The first leg of the encounter, at the Camp Nou on Wednesday, promises to be an interesting one with former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola returning to his old stomping ground for the first time as the opposition manager – a fact that Thomas Muller believes will hold his side in good stead.
The 43-year-old enjoyed a trophy-laden four years at Barcelona between 2008 and 2012 before quitting when he perceived his side were on the downward slide, after failing to defend their Champions League and La Liga titles.
Since moving to Bayern in 2013, he has secured two league titles for the German side but now needs to prove his prowess in the Champions League after being disgraced last season by Real Madrid.
Barcelona are in great form coming into this game after trashing Cordoba 8-0 in their weekend La Liga fixture, with Luis Suarez netting a hat-trick and they are still on course for a treble this season.
Manager Luis Enrique knows his side can ill-afford to be complacent though because Bayern have already secured their league title and a number of first-team players were well rested over the weekend ahead of this game.
This is certainly a match that will excite the neutral fan, who can expect to be entertained as both sides are not known to be particularly defensive.
Barcelona do not have any injury worries at the moment and can set up in their familiar 4-3-3 shape with Neymar, Lionel Messi and Suarez up top.
Bayern are not so lucky as a host of big names currently dominate their injury list.
Star striker Robert Lewandowski, who fractured his cheekbone and broke his nose just a week ago, is set to wear a protective face mask and run the risk in the first leg.
David Alaba, Holger Badstuber and Arjen Robben are almost certainly out for the rest of the season, while Franck Ribery is also a doubt for this match. Javi Martinez is unlikely to feature having just made a return from a long-term injury.