thumbnail Hello,

If Barcelona are not in the semi-finals after this second leg encounter then Bayern will have produced the best comeback in Champions League history...

Kick Off: 20:45 CET - Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Allianz Arena , Munich

Bayern Munich will need to make Champions League history if they are to reach the semi-finals and turn around a tie that almost everyone has said was decided in the first leg.

No club has ever lost by four goals in the first match of a two-legged eliminator and progressed, but that will not prevent the Bavarian club from dreaming.

Deportivo lost 4-1 to Milan in Italy five years ago before winning the second match 4-0 in A Coruna to triumph and that is what Jurgen Klinsmann's players will have to take hope from.

Yet they are facing a team that not only beat them, but took them apart in almost every area six days before this encounter, and they will have as much work to do stopping their guests from scoring as they will netting themselves.

Klinsmann has been roundly criticised for a performance in Camp Nou that club legend Franz Beckenbauer called "the worst performance by a Bayern side I have ever seen".

Reports that the coach may be replaced in the summer continued all week and only an emphatic league win against Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend eased the pressure on the beleaguered trainer.

Statistics show that the Bundesliga giants have only ever won seven of the 17 ties in Europe in which they have had to overturn a first leg defeat at home.

Choices To Be Made

Bayern cannot afford to rest players and approach the game as if the tie were lost and will want to record a morale-boosting win, even if it does not see them through on aggregate.

Pep Guardiola has the opposite dilemma as he cannot rest all his stars and risk giving the hosts any hope of causing what would now be a huge upset or of recording a win that would dent his side's form and confidence.

The Blaugrana coach will be guiding his players from the stands having been sent off during the first meeting of the two sides last weekend; and his assistant, Tito Vilanova, will do the necessary team talks before and during the game.

Barça have visited the Allianz Arena before as they played in a testimonial for Beckenbauer in 2007 - when a relatively unknown Lionel Messi scored the winner, the game's only goal, with a stunning volley.

The Argentinian may not play in this encounter given that he requires some rest after playing regularly since a recent gruelling international break left him looking drained against Recreativo at the weekend.

Both these teams have league duty to return to at the weekend when their pursuits of their respective domestic titles will take centre stage, but they will have to perform here to ensure that they do not let their foot off the pedal.

Bouncebackability

Bayern bounced back last weekend and Klinsmann admitted afterwards that he was delighted with the response after being so dismayed by what happened in the Catalan capital.

The former Tottenham Hotspur and Inter striker also stated that he wanted his team to play for their pride and restore some of the honour that was so severely dented as they collapsed in the first half last week.

With several key players returning and a lesson learned, the trainer may well be able to prevent things becoming even worse for the club and at least hold their own this time around.

For Guardiola, he is celebrating 50 matches at the helm of the Blaugrana and his record so far has only been bettered by the Catalan outfit's legendary trainer, Helenio Herrera.

In his first half century of games in charge, Herrera, who was coach between 1958 and 1960 and 1979 and 1981, recorded 40 wins, five draws and five defeats, while scoring an incredible 164 goals and conceding 49.

Guardiola has a record of 37 wins from 49 matches, with seven draws and five defeats, and has seen his team net an impressive 132 goals this term.

FORM GUIDE

Bayern Munich

11/04 H 4-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
08/04 A 0-4 Bayern Munich
04/04 A 1-5 Wolfsburg
21/03 H 1-0 Karlsruhe
14/03 A 3-0 VfL Bochum
10/03 H 7-1 Sporting CP

Barcelona

11/04 H 2-0 Recreativo
08/04 H 4-0 Bayern Munich
04/04 A 1-0 Real Valladolid
22/03 H 6-0 Malaga
15/03 A 2-0 Almeria
11/03 H 5-2 Olympique Lyonnais

TEAM NEWS

Bayern Munich

There were some welcome returns to the team at the weekend as Lucio was back in action, while Christian Lell replaced Massimo Oddo at right-back, Jose Ernesto played instead of Hamit Altintop and Michael Rensing was in goal in place of Hans Jorg Butt.

Probable Starting XI: Butt, Lell, Lucio, Demichelis, Ze Roberto, Sosa, Van Bommel, Ottl, Schweinsteiger, Ribery, Toni.

Barcelona

Gerard Pique, Toure Yaya and Jose Manuel Pinto return to the squad after missing out at the weekend, while Rafael Marquez is suspended and Gaby Miltio is still injured. Albert Jorquera, Pedro and Victor Sanchez have all been rested.

Probable Starting XI: Valdes, Alves, Sylvinho, Caceres, Pique, Keita, Busquets, Xavi, Hleb, Bojan, Henry.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Lucio (Bayern Munich)
Sorely missed in Camp Nou last week as his presence and organisational skills would have helped the Bayern back line contain their free-flowing opponents.

Victor Valdes (Barcelona)
The much-maligned goalkeeper may well be in for a busier evening than he had six days before and it will be interesting to see how he copes.

PREDICTION

Only an early goal and some sustained pressure will give Bayern any hope of turning this tie around, and from the neutral's point of view that would be welcome. But Barcelona are just as likely to add to their tally as they are to let their hosts back into the game and Bayern may have to settle for a good performance and then focus on the league again.

Bayern Munich 1 - 1 Barcelona

Lucas Brown, Goal.com

Related

From the web