By April 23, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

Barcelona v Bayern Munich: Key Battles To Watch In Champions League Semifinal Showdown

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Barcelona will travel to Munich Tuesday to take on German giant Bayern Munich in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal round and a much-anticipated matchup between two title favorites.

SWOL CEO Adam Davis attended the Champions League Final in Munich in 2012

For Barcelona, this marks the fifth consecutive season in which they have advanced to at least the semifinal round of the Champions League. Having captured the title twice in that span, the Spanish side has clearly shown the pedigree of a champion with their style of play, not to mention the players they have. This year’s road to the semifinals has been a little tougher than most for Barca, who has shown vulnerability at the back and has paid for it in the form of poor results by their recent standards.

It started in the group stages when Celtic stunned them 2-1 in Scotland and Benfica earned a surprising 0-0 draw in Portugal, which marked the first time all season that Barca had been held scoreless. Then, in the round of 16, the Catalans were beaten 2-0 by AC Milan in Italy in the first leg and needed a huge 4-0 victory in the second leg to narrowly advance. The quarterfinal round showed once again Barca’s susceptibility as they drew both legs against PSG and only just advanced thanks to an advantage in away goals.

While these results do matter and show a concerning pattern, the semifinals mark a clean slate and a new motivation for a team that has proven unmatched when playing their best.

On the other side, Bayern Munich has arguably been playing the best football in the world over the past several months. Leading the Bundesliga by 20 points over second place and fellow Champions League semifinalist, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern has outscored their opponents 16-2 in their last three matches and hasn’t lost since their March 13th round of 16 match with Arsenal. Coming off an impressive annihilation of Juventus in both legs of the quarterfinal round, Bayern has momentum, confidence, and motivation after losing the final to Chelsea in heartbreaking fashion.

Like Barcelona, Bayern has dominated Champions League play in recent years having reached the final twice in the past three seasons. The German side hasn’t won the title since 2001, but this year has shown the class and ability necessary for a champion. Tuesday is the most important match of Bayern’s season, as they need to build a lead at home if they want a chance to advance to the final for the second consecutive season.

Let’s take a look at some of the key battles to watch in Tuesday’s match:

First Key Matchup

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