Coming into the last four of the Champions League there are no two hotter teams than FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Bayern took care of business last Wednesday when they scored six goals at home to go up 7-4 on aggregate against FC Porto. Having been down 3-1 after the first leg in Porto, it was starting to feel like this Bayern team was not as good as advertised.
That was all put to rest in the first half of the second leg when Bayern came out and scored five goals in stunning fashion. Barcelona, meanwhile, also had a ton of success in their quarterfinal matchup taking down Ligue 1 giant, Paris Saint-Germain.
The story so far
Scoring three away goals at PSG helped secure Barcelona’s advancement to the semi-finals. Messi, Suarez, and Neymar were absolutely electrifying in their attack, essentially running circles around the PSG defence.
Neymar netted two in the second leg to ensure Barcelona would get a chance at vengeance against Bayern Munich in the semi-finals. This matchup sees two former Catalonians returning home in Thiago and Pep Guardiola and that will definitely make for an emotional encounter.
Having played and coached at the Camp Nou, Guardiola will look to spoil his former lover’s UCL chances. This game is a UCL 2013 semi-finals rematch that saw the Bundesliga giants take down Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate, a shameful embarrassment for the latter.
This year, however, do not expect the Catalan giants to forget this loss for they will remember that score as motivation to overtake a very clinical and surgical Bayern Munich team now headed by an on-pitch genius and tactician.
The main task for Guardiola in this game is trying to figure out how to contain the three headed attacking monster of Messi, Neymar, and Suarez. He will have to rely heavily on his back line as well as his midfielders to inhibit the productivity of these stellar athletes.
One thing is sure about this game, Bayern cannot stop Barca’s attack, they can only hope to contain it. This game will come down to who can win the 50/50 balls and who can dominate time of possession.
I most look forward to the midfield matchup of Bastian Schweinsteiger versus either Xavi or Iniesta. All three are legends in their own right, but which of them will have the most impact?
The winner of this matchup will be the team that can dominate the midfield and allow their attackers to get free runs.
Who will make it to the final: Bayern or Barcelona? Let us know below!