Barcelona vs Bayern Munich
Estadio do Sporto Lisboa e Benfica, Lisbon
Friday, 14-08-2020 @10pm
Ref: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)
With PSG and RB Leipzig already in the Champions League semi finals, Barcelona will face Bayern in the third last 8 clash on Friday.
Barcelona have endured a topsy turvy 2019/20 season so far. Surprisingly without a trophy to show for their efforts at this late a stage in the campaign, they surrendered their La Liga title to Real Madrid while also failing to win the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup.
In the Champions League, too, Barcelona have been far from their best but remain one of the few unbeaten teams in the competition. The Catalans reached the finals by beating Napoli in the last round.
Bayern Munich, on the other hand, have been rampant in Europe and otherwise, coming into their own under Hansi Flick.
For Bayern, they have not faced defeat even once in 2020, with their unbeaten run stretching to December last year.
As far as the Champions League is concerned, Bayern have won each of their 8 games so far, scoring a whopping 31 goals while letting in a mere 6.
Barcelona and Bayern Munich last faced off in the Champions League semi-finals in the 2014/15 season, with the Catalans progressing to the final courtesy a 5-3 aggregate win.
Barcelona will once again be without defender Samuel Umtiti due to a knee injury, but forward 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.
Quique Setien is allegedly considering a midfield four of Busquets, Vidal, Frankie de Jong and Sergie Roberto which could see forward Antoine Griezmann drop out of the starting side, with Messi and Luis Suarez as a front two.
Nelson Semedo will 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, 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 Spaniard Javi Martinez on the bench.
Philippe Coutinhois available to face his parent club on Friday night, although it seems likely that the Brazil international will be named on the bench. Alphonso Davis should also start despite sitting out Wednesday’s training session with tight adductors.
Barcelona and Bayern Munich have both reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the 18th time (in 24 and 23 appearances, respectively), more than any other team. Bayern Munich have historically had the better of Barcelona, winning 6 of the 10 competitive encounters to date while losing just twice (D2). Bayern Munich are unbeaten in 27 competitive games (W26 D1), winning each of the last 18, which is a record for a German club. Robert Lewandowski has been directly involved in 17 goals in the UEFA Champions League this season (13 goals, 4 assists), six more than any other player. In four appearances under Hansi Flick, the Pole has scored eight goals and assisted four, averaging a goal or assist every 29 minutes. Luis Suarez’s last 16 Champions League goals for Barcelona have all been scored at Camp Nou – the last time he scored a goal outside Camp Nou was in September 2015 at Stadio Olimpico against Roma; since then, he has played 1,896 minutes and had 67 shots without scoring at 19 different grounds.
The other Champions League Quarter final games
-Atalanta 1-2 PSG
-RB Leipzig 2-1 Atletico Madrid
-Man City vs Olympique Lyon @10pm