Barcelona host Bayern Munich in the first huge group stage clash of this season’s Champions League, a meeting of two clubs who have won 11 European Cups between them. The Spanish giants last won in 2015, but it’s barely over a year since their Bavarian opponents were celebrating being crowned kings of the Continent in Lisbon. Earlier on in that run to glory, Bayern smashed Barca 8-2 in one of the most memorable – and humiliating for the Catalans – games in the competition in recent times.
Domestically, Barcelona have made a fine start to the new season despite the departures of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, winning two and drawing one, but their weekend match with Sevilla was postponed so they have not played since before the international break. Bayern are already flying in the Bundesliga, two points off the top and unbeaten after four games – they’ll head into this match as favourites despite playing away from home.
Julian Nagelsmann faces his biggest test so far as the new boss, however, and Ronaldo Koeman will doubtless have a tactical plan to try and cope with the German side’s array of attacking options. Follow all the live updates as Barcelona host Bayern Munich in the Champions League below:
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: Messi-less Barca are unpredictable
Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer has said Barcelona are unpredictable without Lionel Messi in their ranks.
He said: “It’s unfamiliar, of course, for any team to play against Barcelona without Messi. But I wouldn’t say I’m any more relaxed, they still have great players in attack and are maybe even more difficult to predict. When you play against Barcelona you are never relaxed.
“The players will all be trying to take on more responsibility now that Messi isn’t there anymore. It’s obviously an unfamiliar situation for every team that lines up against Barcelona now.
“We’ll obviously never forget our game in 2020, but these are two new group stage games and we’re looking forward to two big ones. It’s a cracker to kick things off in the UCL and we’re excited to start our journey in this season’s competition.”
Neuer is starting today’s match
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: All the key information you need
We, of course, will be bringing you all the updates from this Champions League match and we have also put a piece together to tell you all the key information ahead of kick-off.
The game will get underway in 40 minutes so swat up on all things Barcelona vs Bayern Munich before the action begins.
Read the full piece:
How to watch Barcelona vs Bayern Munich online and on TV tonight
All you need to know ahead of the biggest heavyweight clash in Europe this week
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: ‘Barca aren’t worse without Messi’
Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann says Barcelona are as much as a threat now as they were with Lionel Messi.
The Argentine international had to leave the Spanish club in the summer due to their financial situation but Nagelsmann says they aren’t ‘worse’ because of it.
He said: “They’ve no longer got someone as extravagant as Messi, but they have other players who can make a difference. We are prepared for everything.
“I’m not of the opinion that they are a lot worse off now. [Whether we are] favourites or not favourites is always more of a media topic. Two world clubs are meeting.
“On the one hand, the form on the day will decide, but on the other hand, [there is] motivation – and that one will be extremely high with us.”
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: Koeman looks to cause opponents ‘problems'
The last time these two clubs met each other Bayern Munich handed Barcelona a humbling 8-2 defeat but Ronald Koeman says his team can ‘cause problems’ in tonight’s match.
Barca are, of course, without Lionel Messi as he transferred to PSG in the summer and it will be there first Champions League campaign without his input since 2004.
But Koeman says his new look team can get a win this evening, he told the club website: “Now we have the chance to turn that [8-2] result around.
“We have to be strong, look for a high tempo game and show off our style. We have great players with a lot of technical ability who can cause Bayern problems.”
Koeman is seeking a win
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: Team news
Barcelona have named their starting XI for their Champions League clash this evening,
Ronald Koeman has in his starting team: Ter Stegen; Pique, R. Araujo, Sergio, Memphis, Pedri, L. De Jong, Jordi Alba, S. Roberto, F. De Jong, Eric
This sees Barca in a 3-5-2, a different formation than we have seen them in their La Liga matches.
While Bayern have unveiled their squad as: Neuer, Upamecano, Sule, Pavard, Kimmich, Goretzka, Lewandowski, Sane, Davies, Muller, Musiala.
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: The stage is set
What a thrilling Champions League contest we have awaiting us this evening as two European powerhouses clash.
Barcelona will have the home advantage with the match being staged at Camp Nou and the German team will have to put in a hell of a shift to collect an away win.
The Spanish giants are ready to go and kick-off is coming in just over an hour.
Recalling the last time Barcelona played Bayern Munich
What an occasion, what a humbling.
Bayern Munich eviscerated the Barcelona defence in Lisbon, in the one-off ‘feast of football’ at the end of the resumed 2019/20 season. An 8-2 scoreline was the ultimate outcome, with Barca’s time at the top table of European football summarily ended at that point, a humiliating underlining of the facts that Roma and Liverpool had witten in previous campaigns with improbable comebacks against the fragile Catalans.
Remind yourselves here of what happened when Alphonso Davies’ career ignited, Barca’s defence imploded and Philippe Coutinho scored twice off the bench against his parent club…
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Barcelona vs Bayern Munich – Champions League live
Good evening and welcome to the Independent’s live coverage of the Champions League Group E encounter between Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
The Spanish side are still getting to grips with the post-Lionel Messi era but the good form of Memphis Depay at the start of the campaign has helped tremendously – particularly as new arrival Sergio Aguero is still injured, Ansu Fati is yet to recover, Martin Braithwaite is now sidelined and the on-loan Luuk de Jong has yet to feature.
Bayern have no such worries in attack, despite a knock for Serge Gnabry at the weekend, and they will close to full strength as they look to stamp a mark on the group on the opening night. They are favourites, too, per Betfair’s pre-game odds:
Barca to win – 12/5
Draw – 3/1
Bayern to win – Evens
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