Barcelona's Vidal in talks to terminate his contract this summer (Vidal is attempting to head the ball in the photo)
Espanyol's Colombian defender Bernardo Espinosa and Espanyol's Spanish forward Javier Puado (2R) vie with Barcelona's Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal during the Spanish League football match between Barcelona and Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on July 8, 2020. (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

Talking Tactics

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.

Team News

Barcelona

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

Barcelona Vs Bayern Munich Tactical Preview (Bayern Munich players are seen in the photo)
Bayern Munich’s Polish forward Robert Lewandowski (R) celebrates with his teammate Bayern Munich’s German defender Jerome Boateng after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League, second-leg round of 16, football match FC Bayern Munich v FC Chelsea in Munich, southern Germany on August 8, 2020. (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Bayern Munich

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

Key Men

Barcelona

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.

Bayern Munich

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.

Odds 

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.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.