FC Barcelona avoided arch-rivals Real Madrid in today’s UEFA Champions League semi-final draw, although Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich stand between the Blaugrana and a spot in their eighth Champions League/European Cup final. Bayern Munich are widely regarded to be one of the favourites to lift the famous trophy at Wembley on May 25th, especially after they came so close last season, famously losing out to Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out.
The last time these two sides met in official competition was back in 2009, when Barcelona eliminated Bayern Munich at the quarter-final stage. Lionel Messi inspired Barça to a 4-0 victory at the Camp Nou in the opening leg, and Seydou Keita’s 73rd minute equaliser salvaged a draw at the Allianz Arena. Both sides will be missing key players – Barcelona of course will be without Javier Mascherano while Adriano and Carles Puyol are likely to miss at least the first meeting between the two sides, while Toni Kroos misses out for Bayern, with Mario Mandzukic sitting out the first leg with a suspension.
Will history repeat itself? Can Barcelona overcome their defensive frailties to eliminate Bayern Munich, or will Jupp Heynckes be able to mastermind the Bavarians to a second successive UEFA Champions League final?
Bayern Munich vs FC Barcelona
First Leg to be played on the 23rd of April at the Allianz Arena
Second Leg to be played on the 1st of May at the Camp Nou
Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid
First Leg to be played on the 24th of April at the Signal Iduna Park
Second Leg to be played on the 30th of April at the Santiago Bernabeu