Barcelona no longer have their UEFA Champions League (UCL) destiny in their own hands
Barcelona no longer have their UEFA Champions League (UCL) destiny in their own hands following their 3-3 draw with Inter Milan, but must target winning their final two group games, starting with this one against Bayern Munich, while hoping other results go their way. Looking to avenge September’s 2-0 H2H loss in Germany, it should help that they enter following an encouraging 4-0 La Liga (LL) win over Athletic Bilbao.
That was their second consecutive victory ‘to nil’ at home after leading 3-0 at half-time following the 3-3 UCL draw here with Inter Milan, and the Nou Camp will be rocking as they try to avoid being dumped out of the competition by Bayern for the second consecutive season! Ominously though, while Barça are unbeaten across four UCL home games (W2, D2), that run began after they lost 3-0 here to Bayern last season so they’ve every reason to be wary.
In fact, the reigning Bundesliga champions have dominated Barcelona in recent years, winning the last five H2Hs while scoring an average of 3.8 goals per game. While they’ve already qualified for the knockouts, there should be no let up as Bayern look to make it five competitive wins in a row following a routine 2-0 victory over Hoffenheim on Saturday.
They won both UCL away games this term by a two-goal margin and have remarkably lost just one of their last 28 UCL matches as the designated away side (W22, D5)! However, as that defeat came in Spain (L 1-0 vs Villarreal in April) they’ll be taking nothing for granted, especially against a Barcelona side that can’t afford to hold back.
Players to watch: Ousmane Dembélé notched Barcelona’s 4,000th home (LL) goal on Sunday, opening the scoring for the second time in their last three matches here. Meanwhile, Bayern’s Thomas Müller netted a first-half strike here last term, doing likewise in their latest UCL away fixture.
Hot stat: Bayern haven’t conceded before half-time in the UCL this term (HT: W3, D1).