Bayern Munich face Barcelona on Tuesday night in UEFA Champions League at the Allianz Arena. Both sides won on matchday one as Die Roten triumphed away at Inter Milan and Blaugrana thrashed Viktoria Plzen thanks to a Robert Lewandowski hattrick. The Polish striker’s return to the club where he scored 344 goals is the big talking point of the match.
Bayern have had a slightly strange start to the season by their lofty standard. In the Bundesliga, they’ve won three and drawn three of their six matches. They’ve already put five goals past RB Leipzig (German Super Cup), six past Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt, seven past Bochum, and five past Viktoria Köln (DFB Pokal) in their first nine matches in all competitions.
The side have also drawn 1-1 at home with Borussia Monchengladbach, 1-1 at Union Berlin and 2-2 at home with Stuttgart over the weekend. They won 2-1 at Inter Milan in the match before that to start their European campaign.
Bayern Team News
Bayern have a doubt over winger Kingsley Coman and are without right back Bouna Sarr for this match. Many players were rested against Stuttgart to keep them fresh for this match. Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard were unused subs and both Sadio Mane and Leroy Sane was only used from the bench.
Julian Nagelsmann is expected to select Dayot Upamecano against Lewandowski in preference to Matthijs De Ligt due to the Frenchman’s experience of facing the striker in Bundesliga clashes. Marcel Sabitzer and fit-again Leon Goretzka will fight for the spot alongside Joshua Kimmich.
Bayern are giving 100% attention to this match, hence their significant rotation over the weekend. They will look to attack Barcelona and impose themselves on the match.
There will be extra motivation to stop Lewandowski from scoring and Nagelsmann will play for the win, even though a draw is certainly no disaster having won their opener on the road as the next biggest challenger in the group (Inter Milan).
Barca have been really impressive this season after their major transfer business in the window. They’ve played six matches this term with five wins. After drawing 0-0 with Rayo Vallecano in their opening La Liga match, they’ve won their four league matches since with 15 goals scored. They also began the Champions League group by thumping expected whipping boys Viktoria Plzen 5-1 at home.
The team’s last two league fixtures saw a 3-0 win at Sevilla, a highly impressive result, before cruising 4-0 past Cadiz on Saturday despite resting several big-name players. Frenkie de Jong opened the scoring before goals from three substitutes, Lewandowski, Ansu Fati, and Ousmane Dembele.
Barcelona Team News
Xavi has an unbelievable squad at his disposal with a plethora of options in every position. Lewandowski will lead the line but the wide areas provide a selection dilemma. Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembele, Ferran Torres and Raphinha are competing for two spots. The latter duo are most likely to be on the bench.
At right back, Sergi Roberto is battling Hector Bellerin although using Ronald Araujo there is another viable option. Andreas Christensen, Jules Kounde, Jordi Alba, and Pedri are all fresh having not started over the weekend. Franck Kessie, Gavi, and Frenkie De Jong are fighting for one spot in midfield.
This match is a real litmus test for Xavi and his side’s progress. He is set to play an attacking game but the Spaniard has also had joy using counter attacks since taking over.
A draw would be a very fine result on the road. The coach could use a 3-diamond-3 build-up scheme as seen near the start of the season, or go with a more balanced 4-3-3 too.
Bayern have lost just 2 of their last 32 CL matches
Bayern have scored 3+ goals in each of their last 4 matches against Barcelona
Bayern have their last 7 matches against Barca (27-4 aggregate)
Barcelona have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 5 meetings against Bayern
Barca have won their last 5 matches (all comps), scoring 20 goals
Barca have lost 2 of their last 3 away CL matches (incl. 3-0 at Bayern in December)
Bayern tend to thrash Barcelona in every meeting between the sides. That makes this a real test for Xavi to show how far his side have come. I am tipping them to play out an attacking affair with plenty of goals and Bayern possibly grabbing a score draw. Lewandowski could come back to haunt his former side.
Best Bet: Over 3.5 goals at 1.86
Value Bet: Score Draw at 4.70
Alternative Bet: Both teams to score + Lewandowski anytime scorer at 2.57