Barca v Bayern Munich preview

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:16

Barca v Bayern Munich preview

Bayern dominated at the Allianz Arena on their way to a resounding 4-0 victory over the Catalans, and will be confident of protecting their advantage as no team has ever overturned a four-goal first-leg deficit in the European Cup.
Jupp Heynckes’ men are also on a run of 21 wins in 22 games across all competitions, and boast the most prolific attack in the Champions League this season, having banged in 26 goals in total.
Barcelona, however, are not to be written off as they have won their last 10 home games against German opposition, and their pedigree in Europe in recent years suggests they have what it takes to pull off the unlikeliest of comebacks.
The Blaugrana’s success largely depends on the fitness of Lionel Messi, who came off the bench to score one and provide an assist in the 2-2 draw with Athletic Bilbao at the weekend.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner was generally anonymous in the first-leg, but a stronger performance from him on Wednesday could go along way to decide the outcome of this tie.
Defensively, Tito Vilanova’s men will have to make do without Jordi Alba, who is suspended for the return leg, but Adriano is available after serving a ban and should replace the Spaniard at left-back.
Javier Mascherano could be thrust straight back into the team in place of the injured Carles Puyol, after recently returning to light training ahead of schedule.
Barca will also be without midfielder Sergio Busquets (groin) and defender Eric Abidal (calf) after they failed late fitness tests with Alex Song a possible deputy for Busquets.
For Bayern, Mario Mandzukic returns from a one-match suspension and could replace Mario Gomez up front.
The Bundesliga club have no less than six players who are just one yellow card away from missing the final, namely Javi Martinez, Mario Gomez, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luiz Gustavo, Dante and Philipp Lahm, although Heynckes confirmed he will not be resting any of his first-team regulars for the clash.

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