Guwahati: It all boils down to Friday night as Barcelona take on Bayern Munich, in arguably the pick of the quarter-final ties, in Lisbon, as the two teams battle it out for a spot in the final four.
Barcelona overcame Napoli riding on the heroics of Messi, while Bayern breezed past Chelsea as they ensured their position in the top eight of the tournament.
Barcelona will surely be under a certain amount of pressure, going into what will be the 13th successive Champions League quarter-final for the side, as they have not won the title since 2015, too long for a club of their ilk. Although, the Messi led Barcelona have some great past records against German clubs, having managed to remain unbeaten in their last six contests, following the second-leg defeat to Bayern in the semi-finals of the 2015 season, Barca’s overall record against Bayern is surprisingly poor, with just two wins in their last 10 encounters.
The Spanish outfit cannot be written off in any game due to the presence of a certain Messi, although it would be fair to say that the team will have to play a lot better than they have done for the majority of the 2019-20 campaign if they are to book their spot in the semi-finals of the competition. They have their chances surely enhanced with Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal all set to return to the team following their suspensions.
Bayern Munich, meanwhile, will walk out as the favourites in the encounter against the Spanish side. The unique, energetic and fast paced dynamic setup of Bayern clearly make them one of the tournament favourites. Although they will be without Benjamin Pavard, they have very little to worry as Joshua Kimmich is back in the side. With Lewandowski in some terrific form having scored 53 goals this season, including 13 in the tournament itself, Bayern will surely fancy their chances against the Spanish side on Friday night.
The winner of this highly-anticipated quarter-final contest will face either Lyon or Manchester City in the semi-finals.
Match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich starts at 12:30am IST on Saturday and can be viewed on the SONY TEN network.
PROBABLE PLAYING XI
Barcelona predicted XI (4-4-2): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong; Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi
Bayern Munich predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, Alphonso Davies; Thiago Alcantara, Leon Goretzka; Ivan Perisic, Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry; Robert Lewandowski.