bundesliga.com is on hand to ensure your privy to all the pre-match rumblings from both camps ahead of the blockbuster encounter at the Allianz Arena…
Following a 3-0 defeat at the Nou Camp, FC Bayern need nothing short of a miracle to reach their third final in five years, but hope springs eternal for the under pressure Bavarians on account of their unbeaten home record. “We're Bayern,” said Pep Guardiola. “I've never said that we don’t have a chance before a game.”
There’s little change on the injury front for the hosts, with Holger Badstuber, David Alaba, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben all sidelined and Sebastian Rode’s inclusion in doubt. Guardiola called for his side to “attack better than in Barcelona”, before admitting that Mario Götze is “an option” to start the second leg.
In contrast, Barcelona boast a clean bill of health and no suspensions with head coach Luis Enrique able to rest Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta in the 2-0 win over Real Sociedad de Futbol on Saturday. As is the custom in cup games, Marc-Andre ter Stegen will line-up between the sticks.
If FC Bayern are to stand any chance of, at the very least, taking a positive result from Tuesday’s tussle, Robert Lewandowski is going to have to be on the top of his game. The masked man has been involved in ten goals (five goals, five assists) in 11 outings in Europe this season and will be intent on adding to that tally.
Bayern did an acceptable job of keeping the Blaugrana at arm’s length in the first leg, until two moments of magic from Lionel Messi in the space of three minutes led to a catastrophic collapse. It may be impossible to silence the Argentinian, but the hosts will have to keep him as quiet as possible.
Thomas Müller: “We want to take our chance. We all know we’ve had better chances in the past, but we’re FC Bayern. We’ll work out a plan and put it into action, but we know that it won’t be easy. We aren’t despondent. We’re fired up for the game! We’ll keep on believing until the referee blows the final whistle.”
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: “The Champions League is always special. I believe every player, every fan, every coach wants this trophy. It is unbelievable, and it is one of the greatest achievements you can have in football. And that is what we fight for every day.”
Matchday 32’s defeat to FC Augsburg was FC Bayern’s fourth straight defeat in all competitions. More worryingly perhaps is the fact that the German record titleholders have gone 361 minutes without a goal. In that time frame Barca have all but secured the La Liga title, picked up maximum points, scored 19 and conceded none.
FC Bayern won by a scoreline (4-0) that would see them reach this year’s final last time they hosted FC Barcelona at the Allianz Arena. That result put an end to the Catalan giants’ eight-game unbeaten run on German soil. The visitors have also won 37 of 39 UEFA competition ties after winning the first leg at home.
FC Bayern: Neuer - Rafinha, Benatia, Boateng, Bernat - Xabi Alonso - Müller, Lahm, Thiago, Götze - Lewandowski
FC Barcelona: ter Stegen - Dani Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Jordi Alba - Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta - Messi, Suarez, Neymar