Friday evening’s Champion League Quarter-Final is set to be a cracker as two of the biggest names in soccer – Barcelona and Bayern Munich – square off against each other at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal.
The two global heavyweights come into the one-off fixture in top form and this match looks one not to be missed by soccer fans. Bayern Munich have an 100% record in the Champions League this campaign and have won their last 18 matches in all competitions while scoring almost four goals a game in their Champions League matches.
Barcelona similarly have yet to be beaten in this season’s Champions League and have come through some tricky ties including against the likes of Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund as well as Napoli whom they vanquished to get to this stage of the competition.
Depite that impressive record if we dig a little deeper we see the Catalan giants haven’t been at their best with that record containing a smattering of draws and narrow victories while keeping only two clean sheets thus far in the competition.
What’s more they’ve won only nine of their last 15 matches in all competitions compared to the German juggernaut’s streak of victories but they can never be totally dismissed despite the odds looking stacked against them.
Barcelona are grinding out the wins with Lionel Messi as always front and centre; but this Barcelona team are a shadow of the side they were at their best and they’ve proven vulnerable in defence while it’s an obvious flaw to rely heavily on one player.
Essentially, if Messi doesn’t play to his best then neither does Barcelona and the side are perhaps lacking with alternatives who can step up in the event Messi has an off-night.
That has to be a big concern for Quique Setien who will be hoping for another big performance tonight from the Argentinian magician although he certainly won’t be able to beat Bayern on his own and his teammates will need to step up and be counted.
Bayern Munich meanwhile have marched relentlessly to this stage, sweeping all before them out of their path and the German machine has conceded just five Champions League goals up until this point.
Hans-Dieter Flick’s team have dispatched both Tottenham and Chelsea with ruthless efficiency, betting the latter over two legs in the last round and scoring seven goals in the process. A 2020 record in all competitions show them to have won 21 out of 22 matches and they are likely to prove a hard opponent for the Spanish side who will be playing in their 13th straight Champions League Quarter Final.
BARCA SET TO STRUGGLE
Despite getting the results, Barcelona haven’t been the force they once were and relinquished their La Liga title to Real Madrid earlier in the season but strictly on Champions League results they should give Bayern Munich something to think about if only considering that angle.
However they haven’t won this tournament since 2015 and they will be under pressure to deliver in order to salvage what has been a difficult season for the Catalan giants.
Barcelona have only lost two of their last 31 Champions League matches and have had the measure of German opponents in their last six encounters with their last defeat coming against Bayern at the semi-final stage of the 2015 competition although they went through and onwards to ultimate victory in the competition.
They were a top side then and that is an argument that perhaps can’t really be levelled at the current incarnation that has become ever-more reliant on the talents of Lionel Messi to see them through.
Their defence has been far from solid and they face a lethal strike-force that is spearheaded by Robert Lewandowski who despite being 31 shows no sign of stopping and the Polish-born striker has netted a stunning 53 goals in 44 appearance across all competitions this campaign which includes 13 goals in the Champions League.
That stat doesn’t augur well for a Barcelona backline struggling to contain the opposition strikers and it would be no surprise to see Lewandowski amongst the goals again.
Barcelona however do know the way to the goal and they’ve scored in all but two of their Champions League matches this campaign. Whether they can breach a Bayern Munich defense that has shipped just five goals in the Champions League however could prove a difficult task.
HEAD TO HEAD
Barcelona and Bayern Munich have ten previous encounters in European competition, but it is the Germans who hold the upper hand on the head-to-head comparisons with six wins to two in their favour with two draws.
This latest match-up between the two giants is set to be another closely-fought encounter given there’s no recourse in this one-off 90 minutes clash. Extra-time and indeed penalties may well be needed to separate the sides with no prospect of a second-leg.
BARCELONA V BAYERN MUNICH BETTING TIPS
In a very tight match Bayern Munich can edge out the Spanish giants and maintain their pefect Champions League record as well as enhance their record against Barcelona.
Barcelona’s leaky defence could be set for a tough evening trying to contain Robert Lewandowski and co, while a stubborn Bayern defence will be out to put the shackles on Lionel Messi. If they succeed in keeping the Argentinian maestro quiet then the Catalan giants may struggle to break down the German rearguard given Barcelona don’t really have too many other options.
Bayern have scored three goals or more in all but one of their Champions League matches this campaign and few would back against them from finding the net again. We expect Bayern to come through a tough encounter and advance to the semi-finals.
Bet 1: Bayern Munich to win (90 minutes), Over 3 goals combined, Bayern Munich to lead at half-time and full-time @ +450 (Bet365)
Bet2: Robert Lewandowski to score anytime, Bayern Munich to win 3-1 @ +1400 (Bet365)
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