22 April, 2013 - 14:59

Champions League preview: Bayern Munich vs Barcelona

Champions League preview: Bayern Munich vs Barcelona

Bayern Munich, who claimed the Bundesliga title last week with a record-breaking six games to go, face tough test against mighty Barcelona, who are also just a step away from claiming La Liga title.

Recent Barcelona form:

Barca appeared to have one eye on a forthcoming Champions League semi-final first leg against Bayern Munich, while hosting modest Levante. Despite the players delivering rather lethargic and complacent performance, they managed to outplay Levante 1-0 by courtesy of Fabregas’ goal.

The result means Barca retain their 13-point advantage over second-placed Real Madrid.

Barcelona team news:

Lionel Messi has been rested for Saturday’s game against Levante after recovering from a hamstring injury and will be fit to face Bayern Munich.

Eric Abidal was named in the starting lineup for the first time since February 2012, after he has undergone a liver transplant last April. Although the defender delivered an impressive performance, he is not expected to feature against Bayern Munich.

Tito Villanova faces selection headache as defenders Javier Mascherano, Carles Puyol (both – knee) and not available, with Adriano missing the game due to suspension. Barca boss is likely to team Gerard Pique with youngster Marc Bartra in the heart of Spanish giants’ defense.

Recent Bayern Munich form:

Bayern Munich are continuing enjoying their football even after claiming the Bundesliga title last week. They have secured two victories by 6-1 margins this week, despite resting their key players.

Bayern Munich team news:

With Mario Mandzukic being suspended, it is likely that Mario Gomez, who scored a marvelous hat-trick within seven minutes against Wolfsburg, will start up front.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez and Philipp Lahm set to return into the first XI after being rested for the Saturday’s 6-1 thrashing of Hannover.

Holger Badstuber (knee) and Tony Kroos (groin) remain on team’s long-term injury list and are likely to miss both legs of the Champions League semi-final.

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Author: Basil Naumov

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