Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich - Competition: UEFA Champions League Semi-Final

Barcelona are putting it all together and have now gone unbeaten in 27 of their last 28 competitive outings. They have impressively managed to claim victory on 26 of those occasions while not only finding themselves in the Champions League Semi-Finals but also in 1st place in La Liga and in the finals of the Copa del Ray. The treble is still within their grasp, and with their South American attack trio of Messi, Suarez, and Neymar all hitting top form at the right time, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them do so.
Therefore, the Catalans have an excellent shot at claiming a 1st-leg lead here, especially considering the Bavarians may not be without all of Arjen Robben, Frank Ribery, David Alaba, and Robert Lewandowski. Furthermore, the hosts have won 18 of their last 19 competitive fixtures at the Camp Nou, outscoring their opponents with a whopping 69 goals to just 11 conceded. They have held a clean sheet in 5 of their last 6 outings at home and have won 9 of their 10 UCL fixtures this season. There is a bit of concern here from the fact that the hosts were demolished by the Bavarians in 2012/2013, falling on aggregate 0:7 over the 2-legged tie. However, we feel that that will only serve to inspire and motivate the Catalans here, and taking into account the astonishing 108 goals that all of Messi, Neymar, and Suarez have combined for this season, it would be a bit of a surprise if they don’t take some sort of lead into the 2nd-leg match.
Bayern Munich hit the road this midweek with an ailing squad bereft of Arjen Robben after the Dutchman picked up a calf injury in their DFB-Pokal Semi-Final clash with Borussia Dortmund. His absence alone leaves plenty of reason for concern for their UCL chances, but now the Bavarians may also be forced to play without Robert Lewandowski and Frank Ribery here while David Alaba will continue to sit the sidelines. Manager Pep Guardiola now has a real selection headache on his hands and he may opt to go with a false 9 approach with Thomas Muller covering for Lewandowski. The Spanish boss will be making his first competitive trip to the Camp Nou since leaving the Catalonia club in 2012.
However, Bayern Munich have shown some worrying signs of late and have now fallen to defeat in their last 2 competitive fixtures. They have lost 4 of their last 10 matches in all competitions, which is more defeats than they had picked up in their previous 40 competitive outings (friendlies not included). Injuries have certainly been a long-running concern for the visitors this season and they’ll be used to the fact that they won’t be playing with their full-strength squad once again. However, a trip to the Camp Nou couldn’t come at a worse time for the ailing German outfit, who have lost 2 and drawn 1 of their last 3 Champions League road trips. While it wouldn’t be a shock to see the visitors take something here, it is not expected as Barcelona are running rampant at the moment and should take advantage of the travelers’ important absences.

Barcelona last 5 matches:
15/04/15 PSG 1 – 3 Barcelona
18/04/15 Barcelona 2 – 0 Valencia
21/04/15 Barcelona 2 – 0 PSG
25/04/15 Espanyol 0 – 2 Barcelona
28/04/15 Barcelona 6 – 0 Getafe

Bayern Munchen last 5 matches:
15/04/15 Porto 3 – 1 Bayern München
18/04/15 Hoffenheim 0 – 2 Bayern München
21/04/15 Bayern München 6 – 1 Porto
25/04/15 Bayern München 1 – 0 Hertha BSC
28/04/15 Bayern München 1 – 1 P Borussia

Match date: 06 -05- 2015
Kick Off Time: 19:45 BST
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona
You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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