The Catalans are second favorites in the group compared to the Bavarians, and there is a significant risk that they could be eliminated from the group stages if they don’t raise their game against the Portuguese and Ukrainian sides.
Bayern are surely a stronger team, although Ronald Koeman will hope his side will have advanced enough to at least put up a fight. The last time the two teams met, Barcelona was embarrassed in outstanding fashion, 8-2.
A whole season has passed since, and this Barcelona is quite different. It’s not just that they have a new manager and a lot of new players, but also it’s notable who left - Arturo Vidal, Nélson Semedo, Ivan Rakitić, Luis Suárez, and Lionel Messi are all gone.
Barcelona are in the second season of a rebuild, with a lot of young players starting to develop.
Bayern is a good measuring stick to judge how far the team has come in more than a year. Even if Barcelona don’t win, it could be considered a success. Two draws would speak well of Koeman’s managing. Even two close losses could be considered a good sign, provided the team managed to win enough in the other games to advance to the knockout rounds.
For once, Barcelona are not favorites to take the group. So it is also important to acknowledge the other matches in the group will be of utmost importance.