Bayern Munich vs FC Barcelona
Football : UEFA Champions League
Venue: Allianz Arena
Tuesday 23rd April 2013 – Kickoff time 20:45
Match Preview :
Bayern Munich who have wrapped up their domestic league with over a month to spare welcome the visit of FC Barcelona to the Allianz Arena tonight looking to go a step further after they were beaten in last season's final to Chelsea and the year before that against Inter Milan.
But, the fact still remains that Bayern haven’t won the UEFA Champions League since 2001, their only win since they won three straight European Cups between 1974 and 1976. If you look at Barcelona, they have held up the trophy three times in the past seven seasons and twice in the last four season.
Bayern Munich at the moment may be the team everyone is talking about due to their impressive form, but the question is can they rise to the occasion and beat the experience that Barcelona has?
Bayern Munich may be invincible in their domestic league, but they are beatable at the Allianz Arena. It should not be forgotten that Heynckes’ side were defeated by Napoli in pre-season, by Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga and by Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League.
Munich were also beaten away from home by minnows BATE Borisov in the group stage - a side from Belarus going down 3-1!
Coming up against the likes of FC Barcelona, who will have Lionel Messi in their ranks, can the German side get the better of the Spanish opposition?
Back in 2011, Barcelona headed into their 2011 UEFA Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid as slight underdogs, but the pure magic of Lionel Messi, who scored two goals on the night, virtually sealed the tie in the first-leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
And who could forget their last match against AC Milan in the last round of 16? Barcelona were believed to be heading out after a 2-0 defeat in the first-leg at the San Siro. Then it was Lionel Messi who turned on his magic for their comeback win.
With Messi in the side - Barcelona have their talisman and are capable of anything.
Bayern Munich - W W W W W W
Barcelona - D D W D W W
Team News :
Bayern Munich Team News :
Manuel Neuer will start in goal and is regarded as the best goalkeeper at this moment in time when on form, but can commit errors as he did against Hannover. Bastian Schweinsteiger will start in midfield, although there is some debate as to who will join him. Javi Martinez is the most likely choice.
Arjen Robben is likely to start from the bench as Thomas Müller would start on the right, with Ribery in his usual place on the left-hand side of midfield, while Mario Gomez should start ahead of Claudio Pizarro as the lone striker.
Barcelona Team News :
Barcelona will start with Victor Valdes in goal for this match. They have their two first choice full backs , Jordi Alba and Dani Alves ready for selection as well. However they will miss their Captain Carles Puyol and arguably their best centre-half in Javier Mascherano as well. Even makeshift centre-half Adriano Correia is out of this match.
Gerard Pique is ready to start in the heart of defense, but he will be joined by either Marc Bartra or Eric Abidal. But then Marc Bartra has played just 343 minutes of UEFA Champions League football in his entire career, and Eric Abidal has been sidelined for over a year after a liver transplant. Their defence is their weakness as they has conceded the same number of UCL goals this season as Bayern.
Barca's midfield will comprise the following trio of Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. Barcelona will dominate the possession based on their midfield strength. However it’s merely a question of whether they can make the most of that possession count, and whether Bayern can capitalise on the rare occasions they can get the break on against Barcelona.
Alexis Sanchez and Pedro Rodriguez are likely to provide the support as both players has a lot of energy in them. David Villa is a world-class striker but Tito must decide if he is the right player or Sanchez to start.
Kassai was in charge for the 2011 UEFA Champions League finalHe was also the man in charge of Barcelona’s 4-0 win over AC Milan back in March.
The Hungarian also took charge of Spain’s 1-0 FIFA World Cup semi-final victory over Germany.
Neuer; Lahm, Dante, Van Buyten, Alaba; Martinez, Schweinsteiger, Gustavo; Muller, Ribery; Gomez
Valdes; Alves, Pique, Bartra, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Sanchez
Go for Barcelona and accept the 1/2 ball not to lose this match.
The Statistics :
| BAYERN_MUNCHEN LAST SIX HOME FORM
|| H v Juventus
|| H v Arsenal
|| H v BATE_Borisov
|| H v Lille
|| H v Valencia
|| H v Real_Madrid
| BARCELONA LAST SIX AWAY FORM
|| A v Paris_SG
|| A v Milan_AC
|| A v Spartak_Moscow
|| A v Celtic
|| A v Benfica
|| A v Chelsea
| HEAD TO HEAD BAYERN_MUNCHEN v BARCELONA
The Pick :
Bayern Munich 1-1 Barcelona
HANDICAP BETTING :
Take FC Barcelona and accept the +1/2 ball