The stage is set for a mouthwatering tie between two of Europe’s most decorated teams but it is the Germans who come into the match brimming with confidence after a fine run of form.
The pick of the quarter-final ties in this season’s Champions League will take place in Lisbon on Friday night as Barcelona take on Bayern Munich for a spot in the final four.
Barca overcame Napoli in the quarter-finals to book their position at this stage of the competition, while Bayern past Chelsea to ensure that they would be present in the last eight.
Barcelona have been less than convincing since the resumption of La Liga, failing to win in four of their 12 outings post-restart and scraping 1-0 wins against Athletic Bilbao, Espanyol and Real Valladolid.
Bayern, on the other hand have been nigh-on relentless since returning from their winter break in January, winning 23 of their 24 outings across all competitions and drawing the other. That run includes 13 consecutive victories since the Bundesliga resumed in mid-May.
This is Barca’s 13th successive Champions League quarter-final – a competition record – but they have not won the European Cup since 2015. Barca have only lost two of their last 31 Champions League games and are unbeaten in their last six matches against German clubs since a second-leg defeat to Bayern in the semi-finals of the 2015 competition.
Barca have actually won 14 of their previous 19 two-legged ties with German opposition, while they are one of only two previous winners left in this season’s competition, the other being Bayern.
Bayern Munich are one of the top sides in European football, and are currently in typically strong form. The German giants have already won the Bundesliga and German Cup this season.
Bayern, breezed into the quarter-finals of the competition courtesy of a 7-1 aggregate victory over Chelsea. A 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge back in February was followed by a 4-1 home success on August 8. Lewandowski has now scored 53 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions this season, including 13 in seven Champions League outings. Bayern are unbeaten in their last 13 European games outside Munich, picking up 10 victories.
These two teams have met on 10 previous occasions in European competition, and Bayern lead the head-to-head six wins to Barca’s two, with two draws also occurring.
Barca knocked Bayern out in the semi-finals of the 2014-15 competition before going on to win it, while the German giants beat the Spanish club in the semi-finals of the 2012-13 tournament. The La Liga giants also beat Bayern in the quarter-finals of the 2008-09 competition, but the German side have won their only two previous meetings in the group stages of the European Cup.
This is an incredibly difficult match to call for a number of reasons, and a lot will depend on how both teams cope with the newly-structured competition.
FC Bayern Munich -0.5 @ 2