The Prodigal Son returns home, but which of Europe’s best two teams will prevail? Our betting preview of Barcelona vs Bayern Munich.
Bayern manager Pep Guardiola returns to the Camp Nou for the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final between his former club Barcelona, and Bayern Munich. Of course, Pep won 14 trophies during his Barcelona tenure, and will be looking forward to visiting his old stomping ground.
Barca come into the first leg off the back of a massive 8-0 victory at La Liga’s bottom side Cordoba. Bayern, on the other hand, were dumped out of the DFB-Pokal semi-finals by Borussia Dortmund, which was followed by a loss at Bayer Leverkusen over the weekend.
Both teams are top of their respective leagues, with Bayern already sealing the Bundesliga title.
- Bayern have scored 30 goals in the Champions League this season, more than any other team.
- The 2012-13 semi-final between Barcelona and Bayern in the Champions League ended in an unprecedented 7-0 aggregate win for the German side.
- The Catalan’s beat Manchester City 3-1 and PSG 5-1 on aggregate to reach the semi-final.
- Bayern had a more dramatic path through the knockout stages – beating Shakhtar Donetsk 7-0 on aggregate, and avenging a first leg 3-1 loss to Porto by winning the return leg 6-1.
- Barcelona have won eight successive Champions League games.
- Bayern Munich have only won twice in their last seven away Champions League games (drawing two and losing the other three).
Injuries: Bayern have a catalogue of missing stars – Alaba, Badstuber, Ribéry, Starke and Robben and are all out. Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu has been ruled out due to an Achilles problem, but the rest of the squad are available.
The home team haven’t failed to score since the 21st of February. Since then, they have scored 49 goals, winning their last two matches 6-0 and 8-0 respectively. Bayern have failed to score just three times in the year of 2015, and although Robben’s missing, the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller are ready to step into the goalscoring fold.
Selection: Both teams to score @ 4/5
While ravaged by injuries, Bayern were still good enough to rout a game Porto side 6-1 in their quarter final second leg. With the League wrapped up, they’ve been able to relax (resulting in some poor results), which should give them every chance of taking the match to a Barca side who still have to concentrate on winning La Liga.
Selection: Bayern +0.5 @ 15/8
The same scoreline that Porto beat them by in Portugal. If Porto managed to put three past them, Barcelona are more than capable of doing the same. With a mindboggling 77 goals scored between them, Messi, Neymar and Suarez can capitalise on a weakened Bayern side.
Selection: Barcelona to win 3-1 @ 27/2