Preview: Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich

Preview: Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich
© AP Photos
Sports Mole previews the second leg of the Champions League semi-final tie between Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Barcelona will have to produce one of the all-time European comebacks against Bayern Munich on Wednesday if they are to advance to the final of the Champions League next month.

The German outfit secured a 4-0 win in the first leg last week, meaning that an away goal for Bayern would leave Barcelona needing to score six times at Camp Nou on May 1.

However, Barcelona will take heart from the last time they welcomed Bayern to this stadium in April 2009, with a double from Lionel Messi enough to secure a 4-0 win over their German opponents. That score this time around would take the semi-final clash into extra time.

There is no doubt, however, who enter the match in the stronger form. Barcelona have won just two of their last five matches in all competitions, but they are still 11 points clear at the top of La Liga with five matches remaining.

Bayern, meanwhile, have already secured the Bundesliga title this season, having won 27 of their 31 league matches, losing just once in the process. They will also contest the final of the German Cup against Stuttgart at the beginning of June.

Barcelona could welcome back skipper Carlos Puyol following a long-term absence, but should the Spaniard fail to recover, Alex Song could be drafted into defence alongside Gerard Pique with Javier Mascherano still out of action.

Messi is also certain to start in attack, but Cesc Fabregas and David Villa may once more have to be content with places on the bench.

Bayern, meanwhile, rested a host of players at the weekend, but all are expected to return for the trip to Spain. Mario Mandzukic could be handed the lone striker role in place of Mario Gomez, although the German did score in the first leg. Jerome Boateng is also expected to keep his place in defence, meanwhile, with Daniel van Buyten consigned to the bench.

Recent form:

Barcelona: DWWLD

Bayern: WWWWW

Possible lineups:

Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Sanchez, Messi, Pedro

Bayern: Neuer; Lahm, Dante, Boateng, Alaba; Martinez, Schweinsteiger; Robben, Muller, Ribery; Mandzukic

Sports Mole says: 2-1

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring in his side's match with Valencia on February 3, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona2017305794854
2Atletico MadridAtletico2012712992043
3Valencia20124441212040
4Real Madrid19105439182135
5Villarreal2010462822634
6Sevilla2010282628-232
7Celta Vigo208483528728
8EibarEibar208482532-728
9GironaGirona207672929027
10Real Betis208393341-827
11Getafe207672520527
12Athletic Bilbao206862322126
13Leganes197481719-225
14Espanyol206681625-924
15Real Sociedad206593436-223
16AlavesAlaves2061131629-1319
17Levante203981628-1218
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo2044122244-2216
19Las PalmasLas Palmas2042141647-3114
20Malaga2033141434-2012
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