The start of Barcelona’s rebuild gets a big test in midweek as the somewhat-fallen LaLiga giants host Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Both clubs will be expected to progress through Group E, with Benfica and Dynamo Kyiv the other sides in the quartet, but there is a gulf between the German and Spanish sides right now on and Ronald Koeman must find a way to bridge that continuity and star name which Bayern have and Barca had.
They have not played for almost three weeks, as the weekend game with Sevilla was postponed due to late-returning South Americans after the international break, while Bayern cruised past last season’s runners-up RB Leipzig with a 4-1 victory.
For many fans and neutrals alike, the merciless thumping which the Bavarian club gave their Catalan counterparts in the Champions League a little over a year ago during football’s project restart will still be fresh in the memory – and that was before Lionel Messi left the Camp Nou.
Here’s everything you need to know about the clash of the giants this week.
When is the match?
The game kicks off at 8pm BST on Tuesday at the Camp Nou in Barcelona.
Where can I watch it?
All Champions League and Europa League games are being shown by BT Sport again this season. This game will be live on BT Sport 3 and subscribers can stream it via the BT Sport desktop website or app.
What is the team news?
Barcelona are missing four attackers in Ousmane Dembele, Martin Braithwaite, Ansu Fati and new arrival Sergio Aguero. Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest are also doubts at full-back, while Ronald Koeman must decide whether to bring Philippe Coutinho back into the fold or trust youngster Yusuf Demir with a start in a huge game.
Bayern Munich are without winger Kingsley Coman and midfielder Corentin Tolisso but should be otherwise fine, with Serge Gnabry only a minor doubt.
FCB – Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Pique, Araujo, Alba; Busquets, F de Jong, Pedri; Demir, Memphis, L de Jong
BAY – Neuer; Pavard, Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Sane, Muller, Gnabry; Lewandowski
This Barcelona team is missing key attacking options and is a shadow of its former self in any case. It’s a worse side than the one annihilated 8-2 by Bayern only 13 months ago in Lisbon, though they’ll presumably stop matters getting that bad on home soil. Barcelona 1-3 Bayern.
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