The pre-match narrative will of course be dominated by that 8-2 capitulation Barcelona endured against Bayern Munich in the 2019/20 quarter-finals, but both sides have come a long way since that meeting only 13 months ago, with new managers at both helms in Julian Nagelsmann and Ronald Koeman.
Perhaps that humiliation was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Quique Setien, whose position looked untenable as Barca became the first side since 1951 to concede eight goals in a Champions League game. Koeman has since stepped into the hotseat and now prepares European life post-Lionel Messi.
The legendary Argentinian will of course be donning the colours of PSG this season, so Koeman will no doubt want to send out a statement of intent that his side can cope without their former talisman, and what better way to throw down the gauntlet than by slaying 2020 champions Bayern Munich.
For Nagelsmann, he will be aiming to emulate the achievements of Hansi Flick from that famous treble-winning campaign, and while he has already answered a few questions, chiefly beating Der Klassiker rivals Borussia Dortmund in the German Super Cup, this is unequivocally his biggest game as Bayern boss to date.
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Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: Match Stats
Barca may be without Messi, but all hope is not lost, particularly as they now boast a player who has enjoyed a bit of a Champions League purple patch in recent years. Memphis Depay has been directly involved in 11 goals in 14 starts in the group stages (seven goals, four assists) and has got his name on the scoresheet in each of his last five group matches, all of which came during his stint with Lyon in the 2019/20 season.
For Bayern, though, of course Robert Lewandowski is the big threat. Fresh from netting at the weekend in the 4-1 rout over RB Leipzig, in which he scored in his 14th successive Bundesliga match, the prolific Pole enters this contest having netted 28 Champions League goals since the start of the 2018/19 season, at least eight more than any other player in the competition during that time frame.
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: Squawka Says
Scoreline prediction: Barcelona 1-2 Bayern Munich
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: Odds
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: Head to Head
14 Aug 2020 – Barcelona 2-8 Bayern Munich – Champions League
12 May 2015 – Bayern Munich 3-2 Barcelona – Champions League
06 May 2015 – Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich – Champions League
01 May 2013 – Barcelona 0-3 Bayern Munich – Champions League
23 Apr 2013 – Bayern Munich 4-0 Barcelona – Champions League
Of course, the most memorable fixture between these two sides remains that 8-2 victory for Bayern at Benfica’s Estadio da Luz in August 2020, a result that will live long in the memory. That six-goal swing was actually Barca’s heaviest defeat since April 1951, a 6-0 collapse against fellow Catalan club Espanyol.