The second leg of the Barcelona vs Bayern Munich European Champions League semi final will take place on Wednesday May 1 at Camp Nou in Barcelona. The Spanish club is really behind the eight-ball in this game as they were hammered 4-0 in the first leg last week at the Allianz Arena in Munich. This matchup features the tope team in the German Bundesliga vs the top dogs in Spain’s La Liga.
William Hill has the latest odds of a Barcelona win at 10/11 with a Bayern Munich victory at 14/5 and a draw at 13/5.
Barcelona has to come up with a 4-0 win here just to take the series into extra time. If they happen to win the match by four goals by any other score then they’ll be knocked out of the competition on the away-goals rule. They need to win by five goals to advance directly to the final. While this isn’t an impossible task it’s certainly very unlikely to happen, especially if top scorer Lionel Messi can’t play or isn’t in top form.
Bayern may decide to simply attack from the get-go here since Barcelona will be forced to come up with half a dozen goals if the German side can manage to score once on the road. There is some light at the end of the long, dark tunnel for Barcelona as they beat Bayern 4-0 at home back in April of 2009 when Messi banged in a pair of goals.
However, Barcelona has been struggling quite a bit over the past several weeks. They have just two victories in their past five matches along with a loss and pair of draws. Meanwhile, Bayern has won their past five. In fact, the German team is arguably the best in Europe this season. They won the Bundesliga a few weeks ago after winning 27 matches, drawing three and losing just once in their first 31 games. They’ve also made it to the German Cup Final in June against Stuttgart.
Barcelona is hoping to get veteran defender and team captain Carlos Puyol back in the lineup for this match. If he’s not ready to go then Alex Song may be used in the back four along with Gerard Pique. It looks like Javier Mascherano will miss the match. Messi should be ready to start the game, but David Villa and Cesc Fabregas could start on the bench. Bayern will likely start Mario Mandzukic or Mario Gomez up front.
Bayern has a lot of scoring power in their side and play a more direct game than Barcelona. The Spanish team prefers to play possession football, especially if they have a lead. However, they can’t afford to do that in this match. They have no choice but to score at least four goals and have to create chances instead of just trying to own the ball. Their best plan of attack would be to start with their most effective goal scorers and shoot as often as possible. Leaving them on the bench will be a big mistake here since Messi can’t be expected to do it all by himself.
So… our predictions:
Bayern was beaten 2-0 at home in the quarterfinals by Arsenal, so it’s been proven that they can slip up. They’re too strong of a team to lose the tie though even if they do lose this game. We think Barca will win by one goal in the end, not being enough.