Barcelona will look to banish the memories of 2020’s 8-2 mauling at the hands of Bayern Munich when the two sides meet in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday.
Ronald Koeman’s team have steadied the ship somewhat since then but still find themselves on a bit of a rollercoaster, having lost big names like Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann in the summer.
As for Bayern, their undying quest for global domination is still going. They come into this game on the back of three straight wins which have yielded a combined 12 goals – five of which were scored by Robert Lewandowski.
When is kick off? Tuesday 14 September, 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Camp Nou
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport (UK), fuboTV (US), DAZN (Canada)
Referee? Michael Oliver
VAR? Stuart Attwell
Koeman is really struggling to make up the numbers in attack. Since they last played, Griezmann has joined Atletico Madrid and Martin Braithwaite has picked up an injury, with the latter joining Sergio Aguero (calf) and Ousmane Dembele (knee) on the treatment table. Ansu Fati is back in training following his knee nightmare but may not yet be ready to feature.
At the back, Jordi Alba is dealing with a knock but is likely to make it back in time, although Sergino Dest is dealing with an ankle problem and is expected to miss out.
Bayern don’t have too many problems here but Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman are both battling calf injuries and are unlikely to be back in time for this one.
There is also a small doubt over Serge Gnabry, who was withdrawn shortly before half-time of the recent 4-1 win over RB Leipzig as a result of injury. But coach Julian Nagelsmann stressed that the substitution was precautionary, so the winger may be fit and raring to go.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Araujo, Pique, Alba; Busquets, F. de Jong, Pedri; Depay, L. de Jong, Coutinho
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Pavard, Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Sane, Muller, Musiala; Lewandowski
You probably don’t need reminding of the last meeting between these two. Bayern romped to an 8-2 win in the 2019/20 quarter-final, putting Barcelona to the sword and (probably) contributing to Messi’s desire to leave the club later that summer.
That result was obviously a bit mental, but it’s indicative of the trend when these two sides face off. In their 11 games, Bayern have won 7 and dropped just two to Barcelona, whose last victory over the Germans came in the 2014/15 semi-final first leg, which ended 3-0 courtesy of late goals from Messi and Neymar. How Koeman could do with them now.
We’ve seen 42 goals across those 11 games, with the last five seeing at least three strikes.
A repeat of the 8-2 – a result so infamous it has its own Wikipedia page – seems highly unlikely here, but it’s hard to predict anything other than a comfortable Bayern win.
Make no mistake about it, Barcelona aren’t a bad side these days, but they’re by no means great and they’re coming up against one of the scariest teams on the face of the planet, as well as one of the most dangerous centre forwards the game has ever seen in Lewandowski.
Bayern’s defence hasn’t been perfect yet this year, so Barcelona might get a handful of chances, but this should be a win for the Bundesliga side.
Prediction: Barcelona 1-3 Bayern Munich