Barcelona V Bayern Munich
Wednesday 6th May. 7:45PM. Sky Sports 1
Two of the best loved teams in world football collide at the Camp Nou for a blockbuster Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night as Pep Guardiola returns home for the first time as his Bayern Munich look to get one over on a Barcelona side that became iconic under his stewardship.
Whilst many would view this as the dream final, the chance to see two European heavyweights battle it out over 180 minutes is a joy to behold and should provide plenty of drama over the two matches.
Bring it on!
Barca Feeling Gr-8 Ahead Of Crucial Tie
Manager Luis Enrique couldn’t have asked for better preparation for Wednesday’s clash as his side hit eight past Cordoba on Saturday with Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez all getting in on the act.
That obliteration wasn’t a one-off, though, and Barcelona enter this match on the back of a six-game winning streak that includes five consecutive shutouts. Overall, their unbeaten streak stretches back 16 games to February and they’ll certainly feel confident in front of their own supporters.
Guardiola may have fused the Barca style of play with German philosophies to create an impressive gameplan at Bayern, but the Catalan giants are still the kings of utilising the Masia blueprint. The Blaugrana are scoring goals for fun, whilst maintaining utter solidarity at the back – it’s an almost impregnable combination.
Barcelona have won eight successive CL games for the first time since 2002/03 (nine wins), scoring on average 2.5 goals/game in this run.
Barcelona are firing on all cylinders. They could be too much for the injury hit visitors.
Guardiola Facing Huge Selection Headache
The Bavarians absolutely blitzed Barcelona at this stage two years ago, stunning a mind-blowing 7-0 aggregate scoreline en route to European glory under Jupp Heynckes. However, the landscape of this contest is completely different, thanks in part to the long list of absentees in the Bayern camp.
Barcelona have only won one of their eight previous matches against Bayern Munich (D2 L5) in European competitions.
Guardiola cannot call upon the services of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, David Alaba and Holger Badstuber. Meanwhile, Robert Lewandsowki remains a major doubt. Bayern still have a fantastic group of available stars, but there is no doubt that their chances are decreased due to this unenviable scenario.
Bayern have struggled in the away ties of this knockout round also, drawing in Donetsk before falling 3-1 in Porto in the previous round. Huge home victories compensated on both of those occasions, but Guardiola knows his men cannot afford to give Barcelona a headstart in this mouth-watering semi-final.
The Bundesliga giants shouldn’t be ruled out completely, but this is a massive task for any team. With all those injuries taking their toll, it’s hard to see past the Barcelona victory.
Barcelona V Bayern Munich Betting Tips
Unsurprisingly, Barcelona are the favourites for this home clash and are priced 7/1 with Bet365. Meanwhile, Bayern are available at 15/4 whilst the draw is available at 3/1.
The unique circumstances mean Barcelona have to be considered firm favourites and the memories of two years ago should ensure they avoid slipping up here.
This is a fantastic opportunity for Enrique’s men to virtually kill the tie and we’re backing them to get their noses ahead early. Once behind, it could be a case of damage limitation for the viitors.
This group of Barca players are hungry, but perhaps none more so than marquee summer signing Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan left Liverpool to be challenging for Champions League winners’ medals and has been a major force in firing the Spanish giants to this stage.
Furthermore, Saturday’s hat-trick means the No.9 enters this clash with immense confidence. Considering we think Barcelona have a great chance of winning, 5/1 offers great value for Suarez to strike first.