Both Barca and Bayer Munich had similar seasons where both of them sacked their manager mid-season and appointed a new one. While Bayern’s appointment of Hansi Flick has turned around the mood and fortunes of the club.
However the same cannot be said for Barca. The Catalans will have a chance to take a step closer to redeeming the 2019/20 season when they face German champions Bayern Munich.
The last time the two meet was back in 2015, Barca triumphed over the Bavarians 5-3 on aggregate. However, Barca have suffered the most number of defeats by the hand Bayern Munich in this competition. The Catalans would be hoping that they have momentum and form from their impressive victory over Napoli, while Hansi Flick will be aware that things will be very difficult against Barca compared to Chelsea.
Barca defender Jean-Clair Todibo has been tested positive for coronavirus however he was not a part of the squad that travelled to Lisbon. Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets both missed the game against Napoli due to suspension but they are now in contention to face Bayern Munich. Samuel Umtiti is still out with injury but his compatriot Ousmane Dembele has been included in the squad.
Coach Setien said that Dembele might get a few minutes of action against Bayern Munich:
“He will be able to participate for a few minutes. He hasn’t played for almost a year, but we hope that he can do it for a few minutes“.
Setien was also asked about the comparison between Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi on the backdrop of comments by Lothar Matthaus. He replied that “Lewandoski is a great footballer, but he is not up to Messi”.
The Bavarians are without Benjamin Pavard who also missed the previous game against Chelsea. While his fellow Frenchman Kingsley Coman is fit to face Barca after missing the Chelsea game. Jerome Boateng, Alphonso Davies who suffered minor knocks against Chelsea are also fit to play in the quarter-finals. Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller will be key players and Joshua Kimmich will shift to right back.
In recent years Bayern Munich haven’t really managed to win against top European teams as they recently fell short against the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool. Hansi Flick will be hopeful that his team does not struggle against Barca and is able to overcome the Catalans.
Big Boys vs Big Bullies
Barca have been like the big boys of the competition as they are now in the quarter-finals of the competition for 13th consecutive time. While Bayern have been traditionally considered to be a bully club, as they snap up top talents in Bundesliga and ruthlessly defeat their opponents in the Champions League.
It would be better if Hansi Flick man marks Messi with Davies to reduce his influence on the game. The Canadian is one of the fastest players and he might not be able to stop Messi but he can certainly put some brakes on him. The wise policy for the Bavarians would be to sit back and hit on the counter. While Barca will be hoping that they are able to score first to put pressure on the Germans. Though Bayern have been in great form but against Chelsea, they did show many moments of weakness as well.
FC Barcelona vs Bayern Munich Predicted Line ups
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Busquets, Ratikic, De Jong, Griezmann, Suarez, Messi.
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Kimmich, Boetang, Alaba, Davies, Thiago, Goretzka, Coman, Muller, Gnabry, Lewandowski .