Two of the biggest clubs in Europe clash in the Champions League on Wednesday! Barcelona need a win to assure progression. Who will line-up and what will happen in this massive encounter?
Still yet to earn a place in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) knockout stages, Barcelona face a monstrous task against Bayern Munich in Wednesday’s final Group E encounter.
Julian Nagelsmann’s outfit are already assured of a first-placed finish, while La Blaugrana are in a two-way battle with Benfica for second spot.
The Catalan giants sit two points above their Portuguese rivals in second place, but Benfica will certainly be confident of beating Dynamo Kyiv. Xavi’s side are therefore at an alarmingly large risk of being relegated to the UEFA Europa League.
Bayern’s squad has been decimated by COVID-19 in recent weeks. So, Joshua Kimmich, Michaël Cuisance and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are all at risk of missing out again.
Centre-back, Dayot Upamecano, returns from the European naughty step, and midfielders, Jamal Musiala, and Marc Roca can feel optimistic about earning starts.
Meanwhile, for Barcelona, Ansu Fati has reportedly lost his battle to be passed fit for Wednesday’s game. He joins Martin Braithwaite, Sergio Agüero, Pedri and Sergi Roberto on the treatment tables for the visitors.
Gavi was taken to hospital after sustaining a head injury last weekend against Real Betis, and while he is reported to be training normally, it would be hugely controversial to see the 17-year-old play any role on Wednesday.
The versatile Frenkie de Jong is therefore ready to return to the first XI, and Xavi could gamble on forward, Ousmane Dembélé, if Ez Abde is not considered ready to start such an intimidating encounter.
Barcelona have far more riding on this game than Bayern do, but it is hard to imagine a Blaugrana team low on confidence and numbers providing any upsets at the Allianz Arena. Our prediction is 2-0 to Bayern, with a goal scored in each half.
Bayern Munich possible starting XI:
Neuer; Pavard, Süle, Nianzou, Richards; Roca, Goretzka; Gnabry, Müller, Musiala; Lewandowski
Barcelona possible starting XI:
Ter Stegen; Dest, Araújo, Piqué, Alba; González, Busquets, De Jong; Dembélé, Depay, Coutinho