Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich: 7 Key Facts

Bajnokok Ligája

Bayern Munich have one foot in the Champions League final after thrashing Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final clash. Can the Catalan’s – at 19.500* to progress – save themselves at the Nou Camp on May 1st?


1. Barcelona face the impossible


Barcelona’s 4-0 humbling at the Allianz Arena has left them an almost impossible task to qualify for the Champions League final – they’re set at 19.500* to progress.

The Catalan giants may be one of the greatest teams in history, but they face the daunting prospect of overturning a 4-0 deficit. No team has ever lost the first leg of a Champions League tie by a four or more goals deficit and progressed to the next round.


While overturning the four-goal deficit might be a mammoth task, the Spanish side are 1.971* to win the tie on May 1st, with the odds suggesting the game will see more than three goals (1.862*).


2. Passing for passing’s sake


Barcelona have been lauded with praise over the past five years for their patient football philosophy, but the ‘tiki-taka’ style becomes a problem when their passing is without purpose.


The side has averaged 73% possession in the Champions League this season; and while Xavi and Andrés Iniesta had 88% and 83% pass completion rates in the first-leg, the Catalans only managed two shots on target. That was their joint-lowest in the Champions League this season.


3. Bayern’s brilliant 95% win ratio


Bayern Munich have won 19 of their last 20 matches in all competitions, with a solitary defeat coming against Arsenal in the Champions League last 16.


Apart from losing their first away game 3-1 to Bate Borisov, Munich haven’t lost on their travels this season in the Champions League.


4. Barcelona must double their scoring rate


Barcelona need to score at least four goals, but on average they have conceded 0.8 goals and scored two at home in the Champions League this season. However, Bayern on the road have conceded an average of just one goal per game and scored 1.6.


5. Counter-attack worries


Barcelona will have to find a way to deal with Munich’s effective pressing and counter-attacking football. The first-leg saw Barcelona push men forward in the second half to score an away goal and were inevitably undone on the break.


The danger for Barcelona in the second-leg is that Munich will be able to sit back and hit them on the break by utilising the pace of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.


6. Martinez: the unheralded hero


Bayern will look to win the physical battle like they did in the first-leg at the Allianz Arena. In the first game Javi Martinez stopped Iniesta orchestrating any clear-cut chances for Barcelona.


Martinez’s sheer energy and physicality typified the Germans approach. The Spaniard played almost solely a physical role – 20 players attempted more passes than him, but no one completed more tackles. He also committed twice as many fouls as any other player.


7. Height disadvantage a worry


One known problem for Barcelona over the past five years has been their lack of height, which has resulted in a weakness at defending set pieces. The Germans are far bigger physically as a team.  Last time Barcelona conceded 11 corners – many which could have been avoided – which resulted in Munich’s first two goals.


Final thoughts


Barcelona failed to create enough chances in the first-leg and will need to be more clinical and creative at the Nou Camp.


With such a lead Munich will look to enforce the same problems on Barca as they did in the first leg – they were physical, took advantage of their extra height at set-pieces, and then counter-attacked with wide players when Barcelona had men high up the pitch.


Click here for the latest Champions Semi-Final 2nd Leg odds.


(Source: Pinnacle)




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