La Blaugrana head to this fixture with very slender chances of Progressing into the knockouts of the top-tier European competition. There is still a slight possibility, but even after overlooking that scenario, the significance is deeper.
In simpler terms, it’s the club’s pride. We missed our chances against Bayern, had a questionable refereeing call against Inter Milan and individual errors cost us against Inter Milan at Camp Nou.
It’s true that we have to take the responsibility for the current situation, but we have to get a result just for the sake of our pride as we’ll know our fate half an hour before the match itself. So let’s dive into the match preview.
✓ Team News:
Barcelona will miss Andreas Christensen, who hasn’t been included in the team sheet for precautionary reasons. Sergi Roberto had a shoulder injury and Gavi suffered a knock too against Bilbao however the young Midfielder is fit for the match.
Leroy Sane, Lucas Hernandez and Manuel Neuer are big misses, with Thomas Muller returning to the squad when it comes to Bayern’s team news.
✓ What to expect:
What we saw in the last match was a high-intensity end-to-end game. And this one probably will be one too. Although, Barcelona can’t afford to miss out on chances they create and they also have to make sure the defence is tightly set up.
Balde has to start as he offers intensity, pace, physicality and offensive threats. Kounde will be playing a key role, and Bellerin is likely to start at right back, and it will be interesting to see how he fares against Bayern.
Gavi and Pedri are a compulsory presence, with Frenkie de Jong at CDM role as Busquets can’t keep up with the intensity and physicality of Bayern, as we saw in the build-up of the second goal at Allianz Arena.
Dembele should start on the right wing as he’s a very terrifying player to face, and he gave Davies considerable trouble too. I would like to start fati on the left, as he can create overloads on the Bavarian centre-back pair with his inverted runs, something which raphinha can’t do when he plays on the left flank, which made it easier to mark Lewandowski.
From Bayern, Coman, Musiala and Gnabry have to be marked properly and it’s necessary to be positionally aware, win duels and intercept as much as you can, rather than going into tackle situations otherwise their pace is very difficult to cope with.
Ter Stegen has to be responsible with his distribution as losing cheap possession will be a bigger threat than anything. Gavi’s physicality and work rate will be a very key factor and it will be a very interesting battle between the young lad and the seasoned midfield of Bavarians.
Alphonso Davies also likes to go forward, which has to be negated by our right winger with his work rate. We have to defend as a team. Joshua Kimmich is the main architect of Bayern’s Build-up, and Pedri again will have a big task on his hands, something he performed very well last time around, bar finishing.
All in All, it will be a good game, though La Blaugrana will certainly miss Araujo and Christensen’s presence at the back. Hopefully, we see a performance which we can be proud of. Remember, Luck favours the brave, and this demands our valour more than anything, to make a statement, to prove that we’re on the path of progress.