Prediction and odds for the game: Barcelona (12/5) v Bayern Munich (19/20)
We are backing the Bayern Munich victory
When: Friday, 14th August 2000, Kick-off 20:00
Where: The Estadio da Luz
On Friday night, two true European giants Barcelona and Bayern Munich go head-to-head at the Estadio da Luz in the last eight of the Champions League.
The Catalan giants have not enjoyed a great domestic campaign, as arch-rivals Real Madrid dethrone Quique Setien’s team as Spanish champions. The team have been through many ups and downs this season and are certainly not the Barcelona we have seen in recent seasons. They are also lightyears away from the Barcelona of Pep Guardiola, even if they do still have the brilliance of a certain Lionel Messi.
It is difficult to write-off Barcelona while they have the 33-year-old magician strutting his stuff. However, his supporting cast has struggled to live up to expectations this season.
That is the negatives out of the way. Now for the positives. One plus for the Blaugrana is that they have won five of their last six games in all competitions, including a 3-1 victory over Napoli in the last-16 of the Champions League.
Setien’s team are also undefeated in their last eight outings in Europe’s elite competition, so many the reports of the Catalan’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
The Bavarian giants have been a winning machine since the appointment of head coach Hansi Flick. Bayern are undefeated in 26 games in all competitions, recording an impressive 25 wins. The recent winning run resulted in Die Bayern picking up their eighth straight Bundesliga title, while also once claiming the German Cup.
Quite rightly, Bayern are one of the hot tickets to lift the Champions League trophy this season. Everybody connected with the German club will be highly confident of progression to the last four of the competition.
Since their exit from the competition in last season against eventual champions Liverpool, Bayern have a hundred per cent record in the Champions League, winning all eight of their European outings. Unsurprisingly, considering their reputation for attacking football, the German team has also scored at least twice in all of the eight straight wins.
Bayern are lethal in front of goal and their sharpest weapon is Polish striker Robert Lewandowski. The experienced forward is the top scorer in the Champions League with 13 goals in just seven appearances in Europe’s elite competition.
It is hard to look past a Bayern victory in this clash. The only shred of hope that Barcelona have in this game is that Messi produces the sort of display that he has done on so many occasions and drags them through. Unfortunately for the Catalan giants, we think that Bayern will have too much for Messi and co. as a collective.
Messi has only scored three European goals this season, but we feel he offers good value at as an anytime goalscorer in this clash, as Bayern have kept just two clean sheets in their previous eight competitive outings.
Verdict: We are backing Bayern to record a victory at odds of 19/20 and/or Lionel Messi to be an anytime goalscorer at odds of 21/20.
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Who will book their place in the last four of the Champions League from these two giants?