Two big hitters collide in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, as Barcelona lock horns with Bayern Munich in Lisbon on Friday. This is a one-off tie rather than the usual two, with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs where the winner of this clash will meet either Atalanta or Paris Saint-Germain.
Where and when: Estadio da Luz – 14 August, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich: BT Sport
Last time: These clubs last met in the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2015. Barcelona beat Bayern 5-3 on aggregate, with all of their hard work done in the first leg when the Catalans won 3-0 at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona v Bayern Munich Predictions and Preview
This is a fascinating clash between two European heavyweights, although the balance of power has shifted since the last time they met. Barcelona are embroiled in turmoil at present with a coach under pressure and facing the sack should they lose this game, while Bayern Munich are looking very strong and are the favourites to progress in the latest betting odds.
The German giants secured their eighth successive Bundesliga title in June, winning all nine of their fixtures since returning to action in mid-May. That took the Bavarians to 13 straight victories to close out their league season, unbeaten in their last 20 and winning all but one.
Hans-Dieter Flick’s side also won the German Cup last month, meaning they remain on course for a historic treble with the Champions League firmly in their sights. It would be their second treble in eight years, and Die Roten clearly displayed their credentials in outclassing Chelsea 7-1 over two legs in the last 16.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Bayern Munich to win and BTTS 23/10
Lewandowski to score first and Bayern to win 3-2
Lewandowski to score first
Barcelona, meanwhile, were tested by Napoli after a 1-1 draw in Italy in the first leg of their round of 16 tie. Quique Setien’s side raced into a 3-0 half-time lead in the return to overcome their Serie A opponents, but the spotlight remains firmly on their coach.
Barca surrendered their La Liga crown to bitter rivals Real Madrid with barely a whimper, eventually finishing five points behind Los Blancos after failing to win four of their last nine fixtures.
Defeat in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals puts the Blaugrana in danger of finishing a campaign trophyless for the first time in three years, while they haven’t won the Champions League since 2015. Reports of player unrest refuse to go away, with Lionel Messi openly criticising his manager’s style of play.
The Argentine magician has risen to the occasion so many times over the years, and Barca need their main man to step up to the plate once again here. Messi returned his lowest goal tally in La Liga since the 2008/09 season, but he has four in his last three matches and a real point to prove here.
Even so, Barcelona start as the 12/5 underdogs for this game, for which they look set to be without French duo Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti. Jerome Boateng is expected to miss out for Bayern, who are also without Benjamin Pavard Kingsley Coman. The Germans are the 21/20 favourites for the win though, with the draw after 90 minutes priced at 3/1. You can back Bayern to progress to the semis at 4/7, with Barca available at 17/11.
One to watch for Barcelona: Lionel Messi has received criticism for his performances with Argentina in World Cups, but the format of this coronavirus-affected tournament gives him the chance to prove his doubters wrong. It’s rare that he doesn’t start as the favourite to open the scoring, but that’s the case here with Messi available at 5/1 for the first goal on Friday.
One to watch for Bayern Munich: The reason Messi is only second favourite to break the deadlock is the form of Robert Lewandowski. The Polish striker has netted an incredible 53 goals so far this season in all competitions, with 13 of those coming in just seven Champions League appearances. He got three in two against Chelsea in the last round and is 33/10 to net first here.
Long shot: The last meeting between these two European giants ended 3-2 to Bayern Munich. Barca already had a 3-0 lead from the first leg of that 2015 Champions League semi-final tie, but with so much attacking power on display this weekend, we could be on for a similarly high-scoring match. Bayern are 20/1 to win the game 3-2, rising to 79/1 with Lewandowski scoring first.