Bayern Munich are hoping to maintain their excellent run of form as they lock horns with FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League this season. It is going to be an exciting test for new coach Julian Nagelsmann, whose team is heading into this game on the back of a five game-winning run and kickstart their European campaign on a positive note.
With the 8-2 memories still fresh, their opponents Barcelona must show competence in front of their home supporters. Avoiding humiliation could indeed be a priority for the Catalans, who have collected seven points from their first three La Liga matches. This will be the first big test for Ronald Koeman’s men this season, and it will be interesting to see how they perform without Lionel Messi.
FC Barcelona Vs FC Bayern Tactical Preview
FC Barcelona are likely to go against their usual method and play on the counter, knowing the sheer strength of the Bayern squad and the pace they have on the break. Barca themselves have a decent amount of firepower, but the key will be to keep the opposition busy and confused. Koeman will be aware of the fact that deploying two strikers against the Bayern defence have proven to be useful for Bundesliga clubs this season, although the Dutchman is likely to stick with the 4-3-3 setup this midweek.
Julian Nagelsmann is a tactically adept manager, who will be aware of Barcelona’s defensive shortcomings and their lack of space in midfield and defence. He could exploit such weakness by unleashing the pacy Alphonso Davies, deploying him in the wing-back role. Lucas Hernandez could make an appearance in this fixture, as his versatility could be useful in the pendulating Bayern backline.
Barcelona are missing a lot of attacking firepower heading into this game, with Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati and Sergio Aguero all unavailable. Even Martin Braithwaite is a doubt, along with fullback Sergino Dest. Koeman, therefore, will have to rely on a host of second fiddle players like Sergi Roberto and Luuk de Jong this midweek.
Predicted Lineup: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Araujo, Pique, Alba; Busquets, F. de Jong, Pedri; Depay, L. de Jong, Coutinho
Bayern Munich, in contrast, were booted by the return of Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez on the weekend while Alphonso Davies also started the game. Nagelsmann is unlikely to miss any big-name star other than Serge Gnabry, so he will have the privilege of unleashing an almost full-strength unit that will look to create a lot of problems for Barcelona.
Predicted Lineup: Neuer; Pavard, Upamecano, Sule, Hernandez; Kimmich, Goretkza; Musiala, Muller, Sane; Lewandowski
With Griezmann and Messi leaving in the summer and Aguero, Dembele and Fati injured, Barcelona’s hopes will be completely on Memphis Depay when they lock horns with Bayern this midweek. The Dutchman has emerged as a ray of hope for an otherwise dire Catalan camp and his performance will go a long way in dictating Barca’s fate in this encounter.
Bayern Munich, on the other hand, will be relying on their frontman Robert Lewandowski to continue his scoring run in all competitions. The Polish international has started the new campaign quite well and will be eager to get up and running in the Champions League. He is the main threat for the Barcelona side this midweek.