UEFA Champions League: FC Bayern München – FC Barcelona Preview

FC Bayern München coach Jupp Heynckes believes preparation will count for little when their tie with FC Barcelona kicks off, with Jordi Roura expecting “minor details” to be crucial.


FC Bayern München coach Jupp Heynckes believes preparation could count for little once their first leg with FC Barcelona gets under way at the Fußball Arena München, while FC Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura expects the tie to be won or lost because of “minor details”. Heynckes is confident the Bundesliga champions will pose a significant goal threat despite missing Mario Mandžukić through suspension whereas Roura refused to be drawn on whether Lionel Messi will recover from injury in time to make the starting XI.

FC Bayern München
Jupp Heynckes, coach
Barcelona have dominated European football in recent years. They have their own philosophy and concept of football. And there are many players who came from their own youth academy. The players work in harmony as people and as a team.

I have respect for Pep Guardiola and we have a very good relationship. This match will not affect this. I don’t need any information from anyone. I know Spanish football, I know Barça and I know my own team very well.

Of course I guess [Lionel] Messi will play tomorrow. For us Barça are not just Messi. Barça have a team of many top players. There is [Andrés] Iniesta, who is a great player – he was European player of the year – and look at [Gerard] Piqué, Xavi [Hernández], etc. They have a great potential and we are preparing to face an absolute top-class team.

To sum up Bayern’s strength this year with just one word, I would say “teamwork”. Bayern play the most modern and up-to-date football in their history. There are so many things you can prepare before a game, but being spontaneous is very important in football. You need good intuition to do this.

[Despite Mario Mandžukić’s suspension] I have two great goalscorers, Mario Gomez and Claudio Pizarro. It is a great feeling to have those two players in my team and I will talk to them today and we will see who is going to play.

Weekend result
Saturday: Hannover 96 1-6 Bayern (Hoffman 85; Stindl og 16, Ribéry 23 Gomez 40 62, Pizarro 71 86)
Neuer; Rafinha, Van Buyten, Boateng, Alaba; Luiz Gustavo, Tymoshchuk; Müller (Robben 45), Ribéry (Shaqiri 45); Gomez (Can 63), Pizarro.

• Bayern set another Bundesliga record with the 26th win of the campaign. They have also set new marks this season for successive victories (13), away wins (14) and the earliest a title has been sealed (six games to go). They have already equalled bests for clean sheets (19) and points gained (81) with four matches left.

Team news
Mandžukić is suspended. Toni Kroos remains out with the injury picked up in the first leg of the quarter-finals.

FC Barcelona
Jordi Roura, assistant coach
It will be an exciting game between two even teams. It would be very good if we could play like we did against Milan. This will be a very tight tie. It will be won because of minor details. It will be a very fast game and very intense. The team that imposes themselves on the game with have the advantage. We’ll try and impose our rhythm, our pace and our intensity on the game. We know how difficult it’s going to be because we know how good Bayern are. We know it will be difficult tomorrow and in the tie as a whole.

[Lionel] Messi is improving and is getting better but we will have to see what the doctor says. He is a great player because he can dictate games. We hope he will be fine tomorrow. The team plays better because of a player like Messi and he can be decisive in matches. It would be important to have him on the pitch but we have showed often enough that we also can win without him.

[Marc] Bartra is a really good option for us, he could play. He is an option but we have not decided already. We will see how it goes with him but as a young player it’s important to be as relaxed as possible if he plays. Xavi is very important, he’s getting back to his best form. He’s always been an important player for us with his presence in midfield. It’s important for us that he’s on top of his game.

Bayern have been very good in this competition. They are in great form and are a very strong team. We are not clear favourites and we have to accept that. Bayern dominated their league and have played spectacular football during the last few weeks. Both teams have a lot of experience in finals. Bayern have been in two finals in the last three years which shows a lot about them.

Weekend result
Barcelona 1-0 Levante UD (Fàbregas 84)

Valdés; Alves, Adriano, Abidal, Montoya; Thiago (Pedro 67), Song, Iniesta (Xavi 59), Villa, Tello (Alexis Sánchez 77); Fàbregas.

• Despite David Villa missing Barcelona’s first penalty in the Liga this season in the first half, Fàbregas came to the rescue for his side with six minutes remaining, hitting the winning goal that kept the Blaugrana 13 points clear at the top of the standings. 

Team news
His recovery from a liver transplant now fully complete, Éric Abidal started his first league game for Barcelona in almost 14 months with the French international full-back selected to start in the heart of defence. The injured Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano (knee) were again absent, as was Messi (hamstring). Sergio Busquets recovered from a groin problem to take his place on the bench. Piqué was rested.

Match fact
• Even including last season’s final defeat, Bayern have won 11 of their last 13 UEFA Champions League games on home soil, a run that features a play-off victory against FC Zürich and a 2-1 success against Real Madrid CF in last year’s semi-final first leg. 


FC Bayern München – FC Barcelona Betting Tips


Tip: Both teams to score


Odds: 1.60

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