Cologne - The eyes of the world will be on Camp Nou when Pep Guardiola's FC Bayern München take on the Catalan tactician's old flame FC Barcelona in their UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg tonight (kick-off 20:45 CEST/ 18:45 GMT).

Until then, will be feeding you the all the pre-match news, stats, quotes and Tweets ahead of the most talked-about homecoming in football...

Live on the ticker!

Right, that brings an end to our pre-match updates. It's over to Guardiola's magic men now. A game that bears all the hallmarks of one for the ages, you can follow it live on our match ticker right here. Auf geht's Bayern!

Messi, who accumulated 14 titles during Guardiola's four-year reign on the Barca touchline, told journalists yesterday that the home fans will welcome the current Bayern boss back with open arms: "He will get the reception you would expect, considering what Pep meant as a coach, because he won so much, because this is his home. His era was very important. As well as the titles we won I really grew a lot and I want to keep winning things for the club. I have tried to keep growing as I always did."

Bayern en route

News just in from Bayern Media Director Markus Hörwick: Bayern have left their hotel. A police escort will accompany the team bus to Camp Nou. It should take around 30 minutes to get there.

Guardiola named a much-changed starting line-up for that defeat in Leverkusen following Bayern's midweek exit from the DFB Cup, a at home to Borussia Dortmund. Barcelona, meanwhile, scored five or more goals in a match for the 13th time this season in Saturday's 8-0 drubbing of Cordoba CF, with Luis Suarez bagging his first hat-trick for the club and Messi grabbing his 40th league strike of the campaign.

received adulation from all corners following his performance in the 2012/13 Champions League semi-finals against Barca. The Spanish midfielder only made his first competitive appearance of the season in Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Bayer 04 Leverkusen following 262 days out with a serious knee injury, but could figure at some point tonight. Get the 26-year-old battering ram's take on the contest here.

Our man on the ground has taken this snap of a rather contended Bayern follower outside Antoni Gaudi's Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia. It's pretty serene in and around that particularly landmark, but the atmosphere's been picking up elsewhere, particularly at the Plaza de Espana. This Vine, though, is just a sign of things to come once the visiting fans begin to flood the inimitable 99,354-seater Camp Nou...

Don't forget there will also be a huge about of interest in former Barcelona whizz kid Thiago Alcantara, who followed Guardiola to the Bavarian capital in summer 2013. "Thiago or no one," the Bayern head coach famously declared. He got his man and, following a spate of injuries, the son of 1994 World Cup winner Mazinho has once again found top gear. "That’s still the joy of football for me: having the ball, touching it, passing, dribbling, scoring," he told English newspaper, the Guardian.


We've rounded up some of the most pertinent quotes for those of you who missed yesterday's pre-match press conference with Guardiola, 2014/15 Bundesliga Team of the Season candidate Manuel Neuer and Xabi Alonso...

Stat alert

Barcelona have never managed to beat Bayern in competitive action without the help of Guardiola as either a player or a coach. For more on tonight's match-up, check out our handy match preview.

For Moroccan defender Medhi Benatia, these are exactly the sort of nights he moved to Bayern to be part of. The former AS Roma man has been in and out of the side through injury in his debut season at the club, but is fit and raring to go tonight, arguably facing his sternest test yet at this level up against the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr. caught up with him for an insightful pre-match exclusive.

It's hardly a surprise to see Guardiola dominate the pre-tie narrative. The Bayern head coach amassed over 30 titles as a player and coach during his time at Barcelona, before taking a break from the game in summer 2012. After a year-long sabbatical, he returned the the dugout at Germany's most successful club, with whom he has since lifted five trophies. Get the lowdown on one of the game's most respected strategists right here.