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UEFA Champions League

  • April 23, 2013
  • • 19:45
  • • Allianz-Arena, München
  • Referee: V. Kassai
  • • Attendance: 68000
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Bayern Munich-Barcelona Preview: Bavarian giants out to draw first blood in heavyweight duel

Jupp Heynckes' high-flying side welcome the Blaugrana to the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night for the first leg of a blockbuster semi-final between two European powerhouses


Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic will miss the Champions League showdown against Barcelona through suspension.

Philippe Lahm, Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger should all return to the starting line-up after being rested for Saturday's 6-1 win over Hannover, but long-term injury victims Toni Kroos (groin) and Holger Badstuber (knee) remain absent.

Lionel Messi has handed Barcelona a major boost by returning to full training after missing the last two games with a hamstring strain - though has not been given the all-clear yet.

Defenders Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano (both knee) and Adriano (suspension) are all out so youngster Marc Bartra is likely to partner Gerard Pique in central defence.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Bayern Munich have won 18 of their last 19 matches in all competitions, with the solitary defeat coming against Arsenal in the Champions League round of 16 second leg.
  • The Bavarian giants have lost just one of 20 previous home encounters against Spanish opponents (W14, D5, L1).
  • Bayern have won three of their six previous meetings with Barcelona in European competition (W3, D2, L1).
  • Philipp Lahm, Dante and Luiz Gustavo will miss the return leg if they get booked on Tuesday night.
  • Barcelona have only won two of their last eight away games across all competitions (W2, D4, L2).
  • The Blaugrana are on an eight-match unbeaten run on German soil stretching back to 2001. Their overall record away record against Bundesliga teams is W9, D10, L5.
  • Xavi (pictured, right) has completed 1,005 passes in the Champions League this season, 470 more than any other player, at an 88% success rate.
  • Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Alex Song will incur a ban with their next bookings.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Manuel NeuerGoalkeeper
4DanteDefender
17Jerome BoatengDefender
21Philipp LahmDefender
27David AlabaMidfielder
7Franck RibéryMidfielder
8Javi MartínezMidfielder
10Arjen RobbenMidfielder
31Bastian SchweinsteigerMidfielder
25Thomas MüllerStriker
33Mario GomezStriker
22Tom StarkeGoalkeeper
-Daniel Van BuytenDefender
13RafinhaMidfielder
11Xherdan ShaqiriMidfielder
22Luiz GustavoMidfielder
44Anatoliy TymoshchukMidfielder
14Claudio PizarroStriker
12Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
3PiquéDefender
15BartraDefender
18Jordi AlbaDefender
6XaviMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
16BusquetsMidfielder
9Alexis SánchezStriker
10MessiStriker
7PedroStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
2MontoyaDefender
22Éric AbidalDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
25Alex SongMidfielder
7David VillaStriker
Players to Watch
Mario Gomez
Mario Gomez
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 33
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Germany international followed up his quickfire hat-trick in the DFB-Pokal semi-final against Wolfsburg by netting twice in the 6-1 rout of Hannover on Saturday. With Barcelona's defence decimated through injury and suspension, Gomez will be out to take advantage and push Bayern into a first-leg lead.
Messi
Messi
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Argentine's expected return to action will provide a massive lift to Barcelona in their bid to reach a third Champions League final in five years. Messi's forward play proved to be the difference against Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the previous rounds and he will be the biggest threat to the home side's treble aspirations.
Prediction
Barcelona are no great shakes away from home, but Messi's return will give them hope they can oust a formidable Bayern side. The newly-crowned Bundesliga champions are in exceptional form and they will look to put the visitors' understrength rearguard under pressure whenever possible. Bayern are favourites, however slight.
Editor's Prediction
Bayern 2

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