MX23RW : Monday, September 21 08:24:24| >> :120:25563:25563:
Aug 14, 2020 at 8pm UK at Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica
BarcelonaBarcelona
2-8
BayernBayern Munich
Alaba (7' og.), Suarez (57')
Suarez (54'), Alba (60'), Vidal (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-4)
Muller (4', 31'), Perisic (22'), Gnabry (28'), Kimmich (63'), Lewandowski (82'), Coutinho (85', 89')
Boateng (43'), Davies (52'), Kimmich (85')

Preview: Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Champions League quarter-final between Barcelona and Bayern Munich, including team news and predicted lineups.

Arguably the pick of the quarter-final ties in this season's Champions League will take place in Lisbon on Friday night as Barcelona take on Bayern Munich for a spot in the final four.

Barca overcame Napoli in the quarter-finals to book their position at this stage of the competition, while Bayern breezed past Chelsea to ensure that they would be present in the last eight.


Match preview

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring against Napoli in the Champions League on August 8, 2020© Reuters

Incredibly, this is Barca's 13th successive Champions League quarter-final - a competition record - but they have not won the European Cup since 2015, which is too long for a club of their ilk. The Catalan giants were incredibly knocked out by Liverpool in the semi-finals last season despite a 3-0 victory in the first leg and will be determined to go all the way to the final on this occasion.

There is certainly pressure on Barca as they probably need to win this season's competition to make it a successful campaign. Indeed, they have relinquished control of the La Liga title to Real Madrid, and it would be fair to say that all is not well in the camp following a difficult domestic season.

Barca have only lost two of their last 31 Champions League games, though, and are unbeaten in their last six matches against German clubs since a second-leg defeat to Bayern in the semi-finals of the 2015 competition.

Quique Setien's side were far from perfect against Napoli in the round of 16, but a 3-1 victory at Camp Nou saw them book their spot in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 4-2 aggregate success. Clement Lenglet and Luis Suarez were both on the scoresheet against the Italians, as was the excellent Lionel Messi.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his 700th goal in their match against Atletico Madrid on June 30, 2020© Reuters

Barca have actually won 14 of their previous 19 two-legged ties with German opposition, while they are one of only two previous winners left in this season's competition, the other being Bayern.

The Spanish outfit's overall record against Bayern is surprisingly poor, though, winning just two of their 10 previous encounters, suffering six defeats in the process, which is an indication of the size of the task facing the Catalan team despite all of the positives that they will bring into this match.

It remains to be seen whether Setien is still in charge of the club next season, but Barca's recent form is strong, winning five of their last six matches in all competitions.

The Spanish outfit cannot be written off in any game due to the presence of a certain Messi, although it would be fair to say that the team will have to play a lot better than they have done for the majority of the 2019-20 campaign if they are to book their spot in the semi-finals of the competition.

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring against Chelsea in the Champions League on August 8, 2020© Reuters

Bayern, as mentioned, breezed into the quarter-finals of the competition courtesy of a 7-1 aggregate victory over Chelsea. Indeed, a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge back in February was followed by a 4-1 home success on August 8, with Robert Lewandowski in stunning form once again.

Lewandowski has now scored 53 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions this season, including 13 in seven Champions League outings, and he will be looking to make the difference on Friday night.

Bayern were the only side to collect maximum points in this season's group stage, meaning that they have won all eight of their Champions League fixtures this term, while they are unbeaten in their last 13 European games outside Munich, picking up 10 victories in the process.

Der FCB have not won the Champions League since 2013, though, and have lifted the trophy on just two occasions since 1976, which is somewhat of a surprise considering their stature.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer lifts the Bundesliga trophy on June 27, 2020© Reuters

Bayern have enjoyed more domestic success this season, though, winning a 30th Bundesliga title, in addition to a 20th German Cup, which are both competition records. They are unquestionably the outstanding team in German football but will be desperate to round off a brilliant campaign by landing the European Cup.

Last season's round-of-16 loss to Liverpool was actually the first time that Bayern had failed to progress to the quarter-finals for seven years, and they will certainly be wary of the threat that Barca could provide.

Indeed, the German giants have lost five of their last six knockout ties with La Liga teams, including defeat to Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the 2017-18 competition, while they have only won one of their last six matches against Spanish clubs, suffering three defeats in the process.

The winner of the mouthwatering quarter-final will face either Lyon or Manchester City in the semi-finals, and it should be a fascinating contest as two of Europe's true powerhouses prepare to lock horns in Lisbon.

Barcelona Champions League form: WWWLWW
Barcelona form (all competitions): WDWWDW

Bayern Munich Champions League form: WWWWWW
Bayern Munich form (all competitions): WWWWWW


Team News

Ousmane Dembele in rare action for Barcelona in November 2019© Reuters

Barca will again be without Samuel Umtiti due to a knee injury, but Ousmane Dembele has returned to training following a long-term hamstring issue, and the Frenchman could be involved off the bench.

The Spanish club will also be boosted by the returns of midfielders Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal from suspension, and there is a feeling that both players will come into the starting XI.

Setien is allegedly considering a midfield four of Busquets, Vidal, Frenkie de Jong and Sergi Roberto, which could see Antoine Griezmann drop out of the starting side, with Messi and Luis Suarez as a front two.

Nelson Semedo would therefore continue at right-back, with Ivan Rakitic potentially making way in the middle of the park as the Catalan giants look to flood the midfield.

As for Bayern, experienced centre-back Jerome Boateng will allegedly overcome the issue that he picked up against Chelsea to start, while Kingsley Coman is expected to be available following a muscular problem.

Coman could replace Ivan Perisic on the left of an attack which will also include Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry, while Benjamin Pavard's ongoing absence with an ankle injury means that Joshua Kimmich will continue on the right of a back four.

Thiago Alcantara continues to be linked with a move away from the Allianz Arena but should again join Leon Goretzka in the middle of the park, with Javi Martinez on the bench.

Philippe Coutinho is available to face his parent club on Friday night, although it seems likely that the Brazil international will be named on the bench. Alphonso Davies should also start despite sitting out Wednesday's training session with tight adductors.

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Roberto, Busquets, Vidal, De Jong; Suarez, Messi

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Thiago, Goretzka; Coman, Muller, Gnabry; Lewandowski


Head To Head

As mentioned, these two teams have met on 10 previous occasions in European competition, and Bayern lead the head-to-head six wins to Barca's two, with two draws also occurring.

Barca knocked Bayern out in the semi-finals of the 2014-15 competition before going on to win it, while the German giants beat the Spanish club in the semi-finals of the 2012-13 tournament en route to the trophy.

The La Liga giants also beat Bayern in the quarter-finals of the 2008-09 competition, but the German side have won their only two previous meetings in the group stages of the European Cup.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Barcelona 1-2 Bayern Munich

This is an incredibly difficult match to call for a number of reasons, and a lot will depend on how both teams cope with the newly-structured competition. Both managers will feel that they can cause problems in the final third, but Bayern's form is staggering - unbeaten in all competitions since early December - and we are finding it difficult to back against Hansi Flick's side, ultimately backing them to record a 2-1 success.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting that both teams will score (BTTS - yes) in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.BTTS Yes:data

ID:410041:

Who will progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League, Barcelona or Bayern Munich?

Barcelona
Bayern Munich
Barcelona
49.3%
Bayern Munich
50.7%
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Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring against Napoli in the Champions League on August 8, 2020
Read Next:
Champions League Team of the Week - Messi, Ronaldo, Lewandowski
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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Granada22004136
2Real Betis22003036
3Villarreal21103214
4Celta Vigo21102114
5Valencia21015413
6Osasuna21012113
7Getafe11001013
8Cadiz21012203
9Real Sociedad20201102
10Real Madrid10100001
11EibarEibar201112-11
12Huesca201113-21
13Real Valladolid201113-21
14Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
15Barcelona00000000
16ElcheElche00000000
17Sevilla00000000
18Levante100124-20
19AlavesAlaves200213-20
20Athletic Bilbao100102-20

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