Football

Bayern Munich vs Barcelona: 3 things that will shape the outcome

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Barcelona head to Bavaria with one foot already in the Champions League final after a stunning first leg performance at the Camp Nou.

The narrative to the first leg was dominated by Pep Guardiola's return and whether he would be able to exert his considerable influence and come away from Catalonia in a match-winning position.

He couldn't.

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Without the comfort of an away goal the German's will find it tougher than they did when Thiago Alcantara had scored in the last round to give them a platform to emerge victorious against Porto.

But if anyone can mastermind something from nothing, it is Guardiola.

It promises to be a fascinating contest, so let's take a look at three things that could shape the outcome of this one...

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Got to get Gotze

Thomas Muller's show of disobedience in the first match will have done him no favours whatsoever.

Pep Guardiola was incensed at his striker when he substituted him with Mario Gotze after Barcelona's first goal.

A stickler for discipline, we might see Pep go with Gotze for this one, and with Muller so ineffective in the first game, there is no real reason why Gotze shouldn't at least be given an hour to show what he can do.

The aerial threat will come via Robert Lewandowski so Gotze's presence in and around the danger areas will be a requirement. A role he executes with aplomb.

And as he showed against Messi's Argentina....cometh the hour...

Rakitic role crucial

One of the best players from the first leg, Ivan Rakitic's contribution went largely under the radar.

That Thiago had probably his worst game of the season tells us much about the work that the Croatian put in.

Backing up Sergio Busquets when required, or assisting Lionel Messi, Rakitic was at the hub at everything good that the Catalans did on the night.

If he provides more of the same in the Allianz Arena, Bayern are in for a very long night indeed.

Win or bust for Pep

He is the best coach of his generation and remains just two trophies short of 21 in seven years of management. Almost three trophies a season!

If there is one thing you should never do, it is to write Pep Guardiola off.

In the last half-dozen games he has employed a 3-5-2 formation, a 4-3-3, a 3-4-3, a 4-3-1-2 and a 4-1-4-1.

Now that he has some idea of what's required to beat his old team, watch him come up with the solution.

Whether it will be enough to turn around a 3-0 first leg deficit, something that has never been done in the history of the Champions League, we will have to wait and see.

It's win or bust.

What's your score prediction?

Have your say below!

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Topics:
Football
Lionel Messi
UEFA Champions League
Bayern Munich
Robert Lewandowski
Luis Suarez
Neymar

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