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UEFA Champions League Preview: Barcelona v Bayern Munich

Barcelona are set to welcome back Lionel Messi for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final meeting with Bayern Munich.

The Spanish giants are expected to be bolstered by the return of playmaker Messi, who has missed their last two La Liga fixtures, against Real Zaragoza and Levante, with a hamstring injury.

Messi suffered the injury in the first half of Barca’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

The Argentinian sat out their next fixture against Mallorca but came off the bench to help them through to the last four of Europe’s premier club competition, courtesy of a 3-3 win on away goals.

After two weeks on the sidelines, Messi is likely to start in Munich on Tuesday, which will be a timely boost for a Barcelona side who have only won two of their previous seven UEFA Champions League games away from home.

Bayern, meanwhile, head into the match full of confidence following a recent run of results that has seen them win eight games in succession, scoring an incredible 32 goals in the process.

Jupp Heynckes’ men also recorded a resounding 4-0 aggregate victory over Italian champions Juventus to reach the final four.

Despite Bayern’s impeccable form, Spanish midfielder Javi Martinez is still wary of a star-studded Barcelona outfit.

“Unfortunately, everything about them worries me,” Martinez told AS. “They’re a very balanced outfit and they have the best player in the world.

“And even if (Lionel) Messi has a bad day, he has plenty of team-mates who can do a very good job, such as Pedro, Alexis (Sanchez), (David) Villa, Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta, etc.”

Mon 22 Apr, 2013
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