Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: 3 things that will shape the Champions League tie

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Barcelona welcome Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich to Camp Nou for what promises to be a mouth watering Champions League semi-final first leg.

Both clubs are playing some of their best football of the season although the visitors injury list is lengthening by the day, something sure to displease Guardiola.

The narrative has, as expected, been written mainly by the returning Guardiola, but Luis Enrique has one or two aces up his sleeve for anyone who might think that this will be a walkover for the Germans, as it was two years ago.

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Barca are a much different proposition to their 2013 vintage so let's take a look at three things that will shape the outcome to this game...

No Ribery, Robben

It doesn't matter how strong a side you are, if you are decimated by injuries then that's going to hurt you. 

By way of example, think of a Barcelona without Neymar and Messi and an injured but able Suarez.

That's the scenario that greets Pep Guardiola with no Franck Ribery or Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski only able to be considered if he wears a protective mask.

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It's hardly the best set of circumstances to find yourself in for a Champions League semi final. Not to mention the loss of the brilliant David Alaba too.

Bayern still have a wonderful array of talent at their disposal but Barcelona need to go for the jugular.

Guardiola, the thinker

If there is one man that can counteract the barrage that Barcelona are going to throw at Bayern, it's Pep.

The man who made the monster knows every nuance of every system that Barca have ever used, and is flexible and pragmatic enough to deliver solutions on the fly in-game.

Luis Enrique will need to outwit his former team-mate tactically for Barca to be in with any hope of winning the game, and that is easier said than done. Barely anyone gets the better of Guardiola, and if they do it will only happen once.

Homework has been done on his old team, extensively. Now time for his players to put it into practice.

Luis Suarez

Unlike his opposite number Lewandowski, Luis Suarez is fit and firing and that will be a concern to the Bavarians.

Paris Saint-Germain found out to their cost in the last round the damage that the Uruguayan can do given half the chance.

24 goals this season plus a plethora of assists...and he missed the first three months of the season!

There probably isn't a more in-form striker in Europe at present.

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Lionel Messi
UEFA Champions League
Bayern Munich
Robert Lewandowski
Luis Suarez

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