Barcelona will go head-to-head with Bayern Munich at the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on Friday night. Both teams will be desperate to book a place in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. However, the bookmakers have made the German outfit the clear favourites as they are playing some of the best football of their campaign heading into this upcoming clash away at Portugal.
Quique Setien will probably set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation and could instruct his players to play on the counter using the pace and guile of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann. Barca can expect a tough outing as Bayern are likely to dominate possession of the ball in midfield. Therefore, exploiting the German outfit’s weaknesses on the break could be the most effective approach for Setien to undertake on Friday.
Hans-Dieter Flick will opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation with the hope that his players can control the midfield battle and create some decent chances to score in the decisive end of the field. Both Serge Gnabry and Ivan Perisic will focus on getting to the byline so that they can deliver some inviting crosses for Robert Lewandowski up top.
Ousmane Dembele is unlikely to be fit in time for this European encounter while Samuel Umtiti remains sidelined for Barca due to a knee injury. However, both Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal will be available for selection after serving out their suspensions versus Napoli last weekend.
Barcelona Predicted XI
Ter Stegen, Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Roberto, Rakitic, De Jong, Messi, Suarez, Griezmann
Kingsley Coman will be in a race against time to be fit for this clash. Otherwise, Hans-Dieter Flick has no fresh injury concerns to cope with heading into this highly-anticipated showdown in Lisbon later this week.
Bayern Munich Predicted XI
Neuer, Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba, Davies, Thiago, Goretzka, Perisic, Muller, Gnabry, Lewandowski
Lionel Messi will once again be Barca’s best hope for a goal on Friday. The Argentine wing wizard produced a match-winning display against Napoli last weekend and will carry most of his team’s goal-scoring workload on the right flank. Both Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique will need to have a good game in defence if the Catalans are to stop Bayern from creating a plethora of chances during the 90 minutes.
Lewandowski has often come up big for the Bavarian giants in high-profile matches, so he will be a potent threat in front of the Barca goal. Both Thiago and Leon Goretzka will be responsible for establishing Bayern’s dominance at the centre of the park, so their all-around performance could end up determining the fate of this contest.
The Munich giants are 19/20 favourites to pick up the win later this week. Barca has been priced at 5/2 to emerge victorious away in Portugal while the draw has been listed at 29/10.
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