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UEFA Champions League preview: Barcelona v Bayern Munich

Barcelona will be looking to restore their battered pride when they face a ruthless Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Never in their golden era have the Spanish giants been so comprehensively outplayed as they were in last Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg.

Jupp Heynckes’ side dished out the sort of lesson Barcelona have inflicted on a host of Europe’s elite for the better part of five years, with Thomas Mueller scoring twice either side of Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben strikes.

A rescue job against one of, if not the most, formidable side in Europe looks out of the question but at the very least Barcelona must make amends for that defeat.

A shell-shocked Lionel Messi described it as a low point in his career and will have to be central in the second leg if Tito Vilanova’s side are to turns things around.

“It was embarrassing, if I’m honest,” Messi said of the first-leg defeat.

“It’s a very low point in my career and not something I would like to experience again.

“We were comprehensively outplayed by Bayern Munich and ¬deserved nothing from the game.”

Bayern continued their momentous season on Saturday, setting a new Bundesliga points record of 84, three more than Dortmund’s record mark last season.

Heynckes made 10 changes to his side in a show of respect to Barcelona, but they still registered a 14th straight league win.

On the other side of the coin, Barcelona rested a few regulars and may give David Villa a starting role to bolster their attack.

Messi came off the bench to score in his 20th consecutive league game against Athletic Bilbao, but Barcelona were forced to wait at least another week to seal the La Liga title after a 2-2 draw.

He came on in the 59th minute to transform the game but his fitness is still a query for the Spanish giants.

Captain Carles Puyol remains sidelined, another worry for Barcelona, who were hit by an aerial bombardment from Bayern in the first leg.

Eric Abidal replaced 22-year-old central defender Marc Bartra against Bilbao and may be used in that role again on Wednesday.

Mon 29 April, 2013
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