It's the biggest match of the season so far for Luis Enrique and his crew, as Barça takes on FC Bayern at Camp Nou in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals. With starting center-back Jérémy Mathieu out due to injury, Lucho will have to make an interesting decision. Who is he lining up for tonight? We have an idea:
Stegen; Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez, Neymar
- Out: Jérémy Mathieu (Achilles)
Bayern Munich (3-4-1-2):
Neuer; Rafinha, Boateng, Benatia; Lahm, Alonso, Schweinsteiger, Bernat; Thiago; Lewandowski, Müller
Out: Ribéry (ankle), Robben (leg), Alaba (knee), Badstuber (leg), Rode (hamstring)
Pep Guardiola's teams, especially Bayern, are always ridiculously difficult to predict, but the narrow options due to injuries make that job a little easier, especially now that Sebastian Rode, perhaps the most versatile (and easily the most underrated) player on the squad, is also going to miss the match due to injury.
With Lucho and Barça, we have more confidence to project which lineup he's using. Enrique has been know to use some creative wrinkles during this season, but that was a time when he wasn't comfortable with any sort of lineup. Now, the 4-3-3 with a deep and moving MSN has become his go-to scheme, which has given him 15 wins and one draw in the last 16 games. That spectacular form makes us believe that he won't get away from the 4-3-3 tonight. Plus, the defense has been sensational with Piqué and Mascherano at the back, so the loss of Mathieu won't be such a devastating blow as some might suggest.
With Guardiola's crazy innovative mind, we can never know which tactic system he'll actually use. But considering the options (or lack thereof), we think these will be the two lineups for tonight's clash.