The stage is set for two of the most decorated and rated teams in Europe, but after a fine run of form, it is the Germans who enter the match brimming with confidence.
Since the resumption of La Liga, Barcelona has been less than convincing, failing to win 4 of their 12 post-restart outings and scraping 1-0 wins against Athletic Bilbao, Espanyol and Real Valladolid.
On the other side, Bayern has been almost relentless since returning from their January winter break, winning 23 of their 24 outings across all competitions and drawing the other. The streak includes 13 straight wins since the beginning of the Bundesliga in mid-May.
Although life as a Barcelona player may not be ideal at the moment, the ranks are still of sufficient quality to present a significant threat to the future.
The Spanish giants are for the 13th straight year in the last eight of the Champions League, a record in the competition.
But Barcelona has also lost more Champions League games to Bayern than any other side, five of the eight Bavarian club meetings with a draw and two Barca wins.
That’s not to say they ‘re not going to challenge Bayern’s defence. Quique Setien ‘s men have so far been unbeaten in the competition this year and have lost just two of their last 18 games.
This season, Barcelona has struggled with consistency, particularly away from Camp Nou, and that is why we fancy Bayern to get the job done. Nonetheless, Barca can always hit the back of the net, having scored 13 goals in their last seven matches in Europe, with Messi posing an apparent threat to every side in world football.
Last season the German giants have already won the Bundesliga and the German Cup and are not ready to stop there.
Hansi Flick’s men look a notch above the rest of their domestic rivals and in recent weeks they’ve proven that. Through 20 league matches, Bayern are undefeated, an impressive achievement given the break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bayern took all nine of their remaining league games after the German top flight restarted in May to break clear of Borussia Dortmund and the rest.
They defeated Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 to lift the German Cup while in the Champions League round of 16 they crushed Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate.
While all in Munich looks rosy, Barcelona handed the La Liga crown to Real Madrid, with Zinedine Zidane’s side winning by five points in the end.
The Barca camp has rumors of unrest, with outlets suggesting that Lionel Messi is on his way out. If those predictions are right, then the Catalan giants face Bayern at the wrong time, and the Bavarians look like they might be too much for the fragile backline of Barcelona.
The experienced midfielders Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets will be welcomed back from suspension by Quique Setien and there is a good possibility that both will join the start XI. Samuel Umtiti remains sidelined by knee injury while Ousmane Dembele has match-fitness doubts.
Setien is seen to consider moving from his normal 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 with Antoine Griezmann being most likely in the line of attack.
Injury concerns Jerome Boateng and Alphonso Davies are expected to tackle niggles to start for Die Roten while Kingsley Coman is also expected to return to the XI after injury, replacing Ivan Perisic. Benjamin Pavard is currently out with injury to his knee, with Joshua Kimmich expected to fill in.
MESSI VS LEWANDOWSKI
Messi isn’t going to be in the spotlight on Friday alone, as Robert Lewandowski ‘s form is too exceptional to disregard.
Since the return of European football, both have been inspired and have been involved in the most goals in all post-lockdown competitions.
Messi has seven goals and nine assists but Lewandowski, who has 14 goals and three assists his name, overshadows him.
The center-forward of Poland has scored 13 goals in Europe this season in just seven appearances, averaging one per 47 minutes. This is the highest minute-per-goal ratio in a single player campaign to play at least 500 minutes in a season in the competition ‘s history.
Lewandowski is at the height of his career at 31 and this week we expect him to lead the line in style.
Although his form is outstanding in front of the net, Lewandowski has chipped in with some crucial assists and will do whatever he can to show he’s the best player in the competition.
You might want to choose Bayern on top flight over Barca at whatever odd your Bookmarker pins. It’s a tough game, but Bayern Munich looks unstoppable.