Prediction: Bayern Munich to win 2-1
The stand out clash of the UEFA Champions League quarter finals takes place on Friday evening as Barcelona clash with Bayern Munich at the Estadio da Luz.
Two of the favourites to lift the trophy this season, a thrilling tactical battle should be in the offing.
Quique Setien’s troops will be boosted coming into this clash having impressively dismissed of Serie A side Napoli at the Camp Nou 3-1 last time out and 4-2 on aggregate to reach the tournaments’ quarter-final stage in Lisbon. That victory also meant that the Catalans had only lost one game since the resumption of football, that solitary defeat coming against Osasuna on the penultimate matchday of the La Liga season. Throughout those games, they only failed to find the net in one of those; the 0-0 stalemate against Sevilla in mid-June so they will certainly hope to take that goalscoring form into their match with the reining German champions. Their form in Europe’s premier competition could well count against them though. Having reached six consecutive Champions League semi-finals between 2007 and 2013, they have only reached two since, in 2015 on their route to lifting the trophy against Juventus, and last season where they were overcome by eventual winners Liverpool.
The Blaugrana could be boosted by the return of defender Samuel Umtiti from a knee injury that has seen him out of action since early July. He could be drafted onto the bench alongside compatriot Ousmane Dembele who has returned from a long-term hamstring injury. Meanwhile, Sergio Busquets and former Bayern man Arturo Vidal have returned from suspension so could come into the starting line up.
Having already secured a surely insurmountable 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge in their last-16 first-leg clash against Chelsea, Hansi Flick’s men were equally as ruthless in the return match by swatting aside the West-Londoners 4-1 to secure a 7-1 aggregate success. That win now makes it eight consecutive victories in the Champions League for Bayern, their longest such run in the competition in almost seven years. Opposingly to Barcelona, their run in the competition with regards to reaching the semi-final is very positive. In the last ten years, they have only failed to reach the semi-finals on three occasions. It’s not just in the Champions League that the Germans are in great form however. They are undefeated since a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Borussia Monchengladbach in early December, a run of 28 matches without a loss. As a matter of fact, the last time they failed to win a match was in February in the 0-0 draw with RB Leipzig.
Kingsley Coman could well return to action for the Bavarians after overcoming a muscular injury. He could potentially be joined by defender Jerome Boateng in the starting line up having missed out against Chelsea. Meanwhile, despite having missed training in mid-week, Alphonso Davies should be fine to play. On-loan Barca man Philippe Coutinho is eligible to face his parent club on Friday but is unlikely to be selected to start.
Key Facts To Consider
- The two teams have come together on ten occasions in European competition, with Bayern winning six and Barcelona two (two draws)
- Robert Lewandowski is the top scorer in the Champions League this season with 13 goals
- Barca have lost more Champions League games to Bayern than any other club
- The ten matches between these two have produced 32 goals
- Bayern Munich are currently on the longest active winning run in the competition (8 games)
This match really is a tantalising affair that sees the best of Spanish and German football together. Considering the one-legged format of this tie, it could potentially be slightly cagey with both sides desperate not to be eliminated before the semi-final stage. Robert Lewandowski is sure to have an impact on the match, which Bayern will just edge.
Prediction: Bayern Munich to win 2-1
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