Match Preview: Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich

7 min read
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Barcelona goes into their quarter-final as underdogs as they take on Bayern Munich, who are termed as tournament favorites for this season’s competition.

Let’s take a look at the match preview on how the two teams are preparing in Lisbon.

Touchdown Lisbon!

 

Yes, Barcelona has finally arrived in Lisbon just a day ahead of their UCL quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich. The Blaugrana’s decided to stay back in Barcelona and train, unlike their Bavarian opponents who have already set camp in Portugal and gearing up for what looks like the biggest match of the quarter-finals this year.

Overview
Bayern Munich team training in Lisbon
Bayern Munich team training in Lisbon

Bayern Munich had a shaky start to their Bundesliga campaign until coach Hans-Dieter Flick who was promoted from his assistant coach duties to head coach in November 2019. He has guided the Bavarian side to an impressive second-half campaign winning the Bundesliga and also the DFB-Pokal in Germany. Bayern has been adjudged as tournament favorites for this season’s competition following impressive performances throughout the campaign. Their last match against Chelsea at the Allianz, who they beat 4-1 was another reminder that they are on a mission to secure the treble this season.

Barcelona, on the other hand, has had a year they would not like to be reminded of. Being knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey, followed by losing La Liga to rivals Real Madrid, has been painful for the players and their fans. The UCL is the last silverware they can get their hands on, or the Catalan club will end the season trophy-less; the first time since the 2007-08 season. Similar to Bayern, Barcelona has also had a managerial change mid-season in Quique Setien but cannot boast of trophies like the Germans. Setien has one more chance to keep the Barcelona board and faithful content, with the UCL still up for grabs.

Head-to-Head and Form guide

Barcelona and Bayern Munich are the only two teams left in this year’s competition who have been past winners. Both the clubs have reached the quarter-finals for the 18th time (24 and 23 appearances, respectively), which is more than any other team.

Bayern Munich has historically had the better of Barcelona, winning 6 of the ten competitive encounters to date while losing just twice (D2).

Bayern Munich is unbeaten in 27 competitive games (W26 D1), winning all their last 18 matches, which is a record for a German club.

Robert Lewandowski has been directly involved in 17 goals in this season’s UCL (13 goals, 4 assists), six more than any other player.

Barcelona goes into the quarter-finals with an eight-game unbeaten streak in this year’s competition.

Luis Suarez’s last 16 UCL goals have all been scored at Camp Nou, the last time he scored away from home was in September 2015 at Stadio Olimpico against Roma. It’s about time he wears his scoring boots in Lisbon.

Lionel Messi has scored the most goals in a quarter-final game (4 goals), back in 2010 against Arsenal.

Last 5 games 

Bayern Munich: W W W W W

Barcelona: W W L W W

Team updates
Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich Champions League
Bayern Munich’s Polish forward Robert Lewandowski (C) celebrates with his teammates after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League, second-leg round of 16.

Bayern Munich will be chasing a treble this season and they are relishing their clash against Barcelona after in-form striker Robert Lewandowski netted twice to seal a 4-1 home win over Chelsea on Saturday in the last 16, return-leg tie. Bayern Munich has been the most attacking team in the UCL this season scoring 31 goals so far. They lead this table by 9 goals ahead of PSG and Manchester City come in third with 20 goals to their name. Robert Lewandowski has been having by-far the best year in his career already scoring an impressive 53 goals this season and his form will be a huge worry for the heavily criticized Barcelona defence. Bayern has proved their point about why they are the tournament favorites. Boasting off an impressive squad looking to get the better of the Blaugrana on their way to the semis, banter from Bayern players and ex-players have been doing the rounds in the past couple of days. “Lewandowski is the best player in the world” – Bayern striker is Messi’s ‘successor’, says ex-Bayern Munich player Lothar Matthaus.

Bayern still has French defender Benjamin Pavard injured, which means his replacement Joshua Kimmich will continue to fill in his position. Bayern looks to go into the game with an unchanged line up that faced Chelsea.

Style of play

Bayern dominates at both ends, that is what makes their gameplay effective. They love to play out from the wings, attacking and the spread of playing the football at its finest. Possession football is what they are well known for, but what their attack does with it is the key. Even a single chance falling to their strikers could land the ball in the net.

Possible line-ups for Bayer Munich
Bayern: Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Thiago, Goretzka; Coman, Müller, Gnabry; Lewandowski
Out: Pavard (ankle)
Doubtful: Zirkzee (foot)
Players added to squad: Bright Arrey-Mbi, Jamal Musiala, Malik Tillman
Players removed from squad: Lasse Mai, Oliver Batista Meier, Sarpreet Singh, Joshua Zirkzee

Barcelona
Clement Lenglet
Barcelona players celebrate after scoring a goal against Napoli in the second-leg round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Despite topping their UCL group, Barcelona has not been at their best this season, but we did get to see a formidable first-half blitz against Napoli in the last 16, return-leg tie at the Camp Nou last weekend. To be honest, no team featuring Lionel Messi can be written off in the UCL. Messi showed us why he is still considered the best player in the world with his first-half performance which helped demolish the Italian side Napoli and end any hopes of going through to the next round. Adding to them, a rock-solid performance by French defender Clement Lenglet helped steer the Barca ship through the second half which faced consistent attacks by the Italians. Lenglet headed home the opener in the 3-1 victory over Napoli and throughout the game made quite a difference in the defence. The Frenchman will have to do a repeat of his masterclass performance when Barcelona face Bayern, with their goal-hungry striker Lewandowski wanting to prove his point being the best striker globally.

A positive for Barcelona is that French striker, Ousmane Dembele is match fit and included in the squad. Setien has made his intentions clear that the French striker could have game time in this crucial clash. Boosting the squad’s morale will be the return of Busquets and Vidal in midfield.

Style of play

If you have heard the term Tiki-Taka, it is the gameplay of Barcelona which made it famous. But inconsistent performances since football resumed in June have been a worry for the club. Similarly, like Bayern, Barcelona loves to have possession of the football and make their opponent do the chasing. Before you know it, you may see a goal amongst those passes from the defence to the opponent’s box. Lionel Messi and co. will be hoping to finish off any chances they get to breach Bayern’s high line of defence.

Possible line-ups for Barcelona
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suárez, Roberto
Out: Umtiti (knee)
Players added to squad: Dembele, Jorge Cuenca, Ludovit Reis
Players removed from squad: Ferrán Sarsanedas, Kike Saverio

Match Preview Summary

Bayern Munich goes into this clash as favorites but you can never count of any team in the world, who has Lionel Messi in it. A game in which both teams love to have the ball in their control will only see one team being victorious and will be a battle of the football ground like no other. Both sides have faced each other in the past and hold daunting memories over two-legged ties in 2013 and 2015. Bayern crushed Barcelona 7-0 (aggregate) in 2013 and Barcelona avenged that defeat in 2015 beating Bayern 5-3 (aggregate) in 2015. Considering whoever has won between both these clubs in past UCL matches, have gone on to lift the trophy.

With two semifinalists already confirmed, it is time the other two spots ae filled. This year’s UCL knockout format has got us all on our seats. It is evident that no game is over unless the final whistle is blown and the late match dramatic wins for PSG and RB Leipzig can give us a glimpse of what is to come in the remaining two quarter-finals. One of these giants are going through, and deep within with conviction can believe that Barcelona can overcome this German giant on their day. Adding to the Barcelona – Bayern match debate, Messi and Lewandowski will have a battle of their own they would like to settle amidst the recent banter and comments exchanged by teams and ex-players.

Hold on for a rollercoaster ride when the two sides meet tonight, the excitement is guaranteed.

Tactics, Gameplay, Tiki-Taka, Lewandowski, and Messi! Football at its finest.

Date and kick-off time: Friday 14 August, 21:00 CET

Stadium: Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Lisbon, Portugal

Referee: Damir Skomina

Competition: UEFA Champions League, third quarter-final

Match Preview: Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Lisbon, Portugal
Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Lisbon, Portugal

 

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