Updated: Aug 15
The Preview: FC Bayern vs FC Barcelona
By Javier Ascoli Lewin
FC Bayern München vs FC Barcelona, quarter Finals UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, August 14th, 2020. 3:00 PM Eastern Time
The third UCL Quarter Finals matchup is set in Da Luz Stadium, Lisbon, Portugal. Due to the pandemic UEFA has decided to make quarter finals, and semifinals just in one direct matchup. The winner will face either Manchester City or Olympique Lyon.
FC Barcelona comes from winning 4-2 in the round of 16 against the Italian SSC Napoli. On the other side FC Bayern comes from defeating the London team FC Chelsea 7-1. For today’s duel, Barcelona will not count with the Frenchman defender Samuel Umtiti and the Frenchman stricker Ousmane Dembelé. On the other side, the German team will not count with the defender Benjamin Pavard. Both teams are favorites to win the competition, but only one can advance to the final four.
Let’s start by analyzing FC Bayern. Hans-Dieter Flick’s team has a little bit of advantage, this because the competition in Germany, Bundesliga, started weeks before than La Liga in Spain. Bayern has not lost any matchup in the competition, they have scored 31 goals, and just received 6. The German team has showed power and have showed that they are a very strong team. What has made FC Bayern so dangerous is that they can easily attack the opposing team’s area. Specially with the Polish striker Robert Lewandowski’s scoring talent. He has scored 13 goals in 7 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE games. He has also provided 4 goal assists in the tournament. Flick most of the time uses a 4-2-3-1 attacking format, with the 19 year old talented Canadian defender Alphonso Davies going up and down, attacking and defending, and either Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman, or Ivan Perisic on the sides to overflow the game and join the attack. The most impressive characteristic of the German team is that every single player helps the team attack and make the same successful, they always have structured defending-attacking transitions, which helps them a lot. The challenge they will have today is to cover Lionel Messi.
On the other hand, FC Barcelona had a terrible La Liga finish, but started well in the CHAMPIONS post pandemic return. I think that Quique Setién (Barcelona’s coach) needs to make Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez defend over the transitions from the game. Barcelona also has a talented core of players. FC Barcelona in most of the games come with a 4-4-2 structure, winning consistency in the midfield to support Messi and Suárez in the attacking zone. The 4-man line in midfield helps them to recover situations where numerical superiority from the opposing team does not help them. The team led by Messi is very dangerous attacking and they can have long ball possessions that can desperate easily the opposing team.
The game will feature a great German goalkeeper duel featuring Manuel Neuer and Marc Andre Ter Stegen. Both are great players who have helped their teams a lot by avoiding important goals and making tremendous saves.
Both teams dominate their games with the ball possession, but I think today will be a closed game, where Bayern will dominate a little bit more. And why do I think FC Bayern will have a better game today, well FC is a team that takes advantage from the other’s team formations, they use their tactics so well, they try to progress, attack, and move the ball on the empty spaces the opposing teams left. They are great on making passes between the opponent’s midfield and defensive lines.
The stage is set for an amazing soccer matchup between two of the greatest!
FC Bayern München: 4-2-3-1
Coach: Hans-Dieter Flick
GK: Manuel Neuer
Defenders: Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, Alphonso Davies
Midfielders: Thiago Alcántara, Leon Goretzka
Attackers: Serge Gnabry, Ivan Perisic, Thomas Müller
Striker: Robert Lewandowski
FC Barcelona: 4-4-2
Coach: Quique Setién
GK: Marc André Ter Stegen
Defenders: Nelson Semedo, Clement Lenglet, Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Frankie De Jong, Arturo Vidal
Attackers: Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi