Preview and Prediction
This is the most anticipated match in the quarter final of this year’s Champions League. Both teams are the only two left with the UCL tradition at this stage. They both also have won five title each. No wonder that it is considered as the battle of giants. Die Roeten and Blaugrana will be squaring off in Estadio Da Luz, Lisbon this weekend after their last encounter in 2014/15 Champions League semifinal, which was the same season Lionel Messi and Co clinched their last UCL title. This will also be the first time Hans Flick’s men face the equal opponent with long tradition among the elite, while Barcelona has met Inter Milan and Dortmund before at the group stage.
The teams’ previous matches
The Catalan side finally secured a place in the quarter final after crushing Napoli 3-1 on the second leg game last week. Clement Lenglet opened the scoresheet followed by Messi’s strike to the far post and Luis Suarez added their lead by his penalty before Lorenzo Insigne netted a consolation by a penalty.
Bayern had even better victory. They romped to a 4-1 win over Chelsea. Robert Lewandowski bagged a brace while the two remaining goals were scored by Ivan Perisic and Corentin Tolisso. Chelsea could only respond once by Tammy Abraham.
Quique Setien is obliged to opt for the formation properly. At the moment, 4-3-1-2 is the best one to optimise their trio frontmen, Messi, Griezmann and Suarez. However, they are bound to leave some key players on the bench due to the injury of Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele. Sergi Roberto is the best option in the midfield to accompany Frankie De Jong and Sergio Busquets to provide for defensive support while Clement Lenglet is the only option apart from Ronald Araujo to support Gerard Pique.
Meanwhile, Hans Flick has always been in favour of the offensive 4-2-3-1 formation relying Robert Lewandowski as the targetman, Ivan Perisic and Serge Gnarby on both flanks and Thomas Muller as the number 10. On the injury table, Benjamin Pavard, Alphonse Davies, Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane still have to sit out for this fixture.
Players to watch
Blaugrana’s dependence on Messi is still inevitable. The Argentine star has bagged 25 goals and 21 assists in La Liga, plus three goals and three assists in the Champions League. Some other notable figures to watch, probably coming off the bench are Ivan Rakitic and Ansu Fati.
The Bavarian side, on the other hand, has had more equal dependence to several key figures from Lewy, Thomas Muller and Serge Gnarby as the scorer. The Polish captain is even the current top scorer in this year’s edition with thirteen goals.
Barcelona vs Bayern Munchen Prediction
The Bavarian and The Catalan are battling again at the crucial stage. In this single-leg system, there is no time to make mistakes, which has been the main concern on Setien’s men’s defensive side. Bayern excells at exploiting their opponent with more direct football relying on the variation of long balls, long shots and speedy penetration outwide plus cutting inside. Overall, Thomas Muller and Co will secure a win with at least two goal-difference.
Die Roeten is the favorite here. They are priced to win at 1.97 whereas Barcelona are backed to win at 3.50. The odds for a draw result are at 4.00.