With the European champions in ominous pre-season form, our Spanish expert, Phil Kitromilides, believes that die Roten will record another comfortable win over BarcaOn May 1, 2013, the footballing hierarchy of Europe took a sizeable and definitive shift eastwards from the northern corner of the Iberian peninsula to the heart of Bavaria.
Bayern Munich had completed a 7-0 aggregate win over Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League, achieving a result that was an unexpected as it was deserved. Brilliant Bayern went on to be crowned European champions, while Barca had to be content with simply lifting the Spanish title.
Yet the manner of that victory will live long in the minds of players and fans alike and, less than four months later, the two sides meet at the Allianz Arena in a charity game which sees Barcelona as the rank outsiders.
Bet365 offer the Catalans at 7/2 (4.50), which is without doubt the biggest price you will get on them all year. But with good reason.
Tragedy has seen coach Tito Vilanova have to step down, replaced by Tata Martino, who will not be in charge of the side for this game. It is a cruel and heartbreaking blow but Bayern will undoubtedly be better prepared for this encounter.
Pep Guardiola's side have looked ominous in pre-season, playing five matches, scoring 22 goals and conceding just once. The Germans are offered at 4/7 (1.57) for the win, with the draw available at 3/1 (4.00).
However, logic dictates that backing Bayern is the only reasonable selection and the price of 6/4 (2.50) for them to win with a -1 handicap looks attractive.
The Catalans' defensive frailty from last season remains unresolved and, while the signing of Neymar is exciting, Barca have failed to reinforce where they really need to - namely, in the heart of defence.
Bayern, for their part, have added two terrifically talented players in Thiago and Mario Gotze to their already stunning squad and should prove too strong in their own stadium.
|Bayern Munich -1 at 6/5 (2.20) with Bet365|
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV Presenter in Madrid