Bayern Munich will be battling Leonel Messi’s Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on Friday to secure a place in the next stage of the competition.
The Bundesliga champions will be eyeing a revenge for the defeat handed over to them by the Catalans in the UEFA 2014/2015 season.
The two giants have had tight head-to-head statistics in the UEFA competitions.
Bayern and Barcelona thumbed each other in the UCL in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
Since 2009, the two sides played 8 encounters in which Bayern Munich won four, Barcelona won three while drawing one.
Journey to the quarter-final
Barcelona journeyed the group stage to the quarter-finals through Inter Milan, Slavia Prague, Burossia Dortmund and Napoli in the round 16 of the competition.
On their part, Bayern Munich wallowed Red Star Belgrade, Tottenham and Olympiakos in the group stage and thumbed Dortmund in the last 16 stage to comfortably secure a space in the quarter-final.
The match against Bayern Munich on Friday will be the Barca’s 13th successive Champions League quarter-final though unable to win the league since its last victory in 2015.
In the last season, Barcelona lost a quarter-final tie against Liverpool despite their 3-0 victory in the first leg.
The Reds quashed Barca’s dream with a comeback and went ahead to win the prestigious trophy.
Pressure has been mounted on the Blaugrana to win this season’s competition to console their defeat in La Liga to Real Madrid.
Barca have only lost two of their last 31 Champions League games, though, and are unbeaten in their last six matches against German clubs since a second-leg defeat to Bayern in the semi-finals of the 2015 competition.
Bayern, on the other side, cruised into the last 8 stage after a 7-1 aggregate victory against Chelsea.
The team’s star man, Robert Lewandowski, has scored 53 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions for the German club this season, including 13 in seven Champions League appearances to stay on top of the scorers’ chart.
The German giant were the only side to have collected the highest points in the group stage of the competition after winning all their eight matches and remained unbeaten in their last 13 European games outside Munich.
Bayern have not won the Champions League since 2013, though, and have lifted the trophy on just two occasions since 1976, which is somewhat of a surprise considering their stature.
Predicted starting Lineups
Barcelona’s possible starting lineup:
Goalkeeper: Ter Stegen;
Defense: Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba;
Midfield: Roberto, Busquets, Vidal, De Jong;
Forward: Suarez, Messi
Bayern Munich’s possible starting lineup:
Defense: Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba, Davies;
Midfield: Thiago, Goretzka, Coman, Muller, Gnabry;