Monday, April 22, 2013

Champions League: Bayern Munich vs Barcelona 23-04-2013

Bayern Munich vs Barcelona
UEFA Champions League – 1st Leg Semifinal
Match date: 23 April 2013
Kick Off Time: 19:45 GMT | 1:45 PM | 4:00 PM EST
Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany 
 Referee:‬ Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

 Bayern Munich vs Barcelona Football Match  will be played on 23-04-2013 in the Allianz Arena Stadium (Munchen) for a semifinal  UEFA Champions League match.
FC Barcelona is on the best way to win their 22nd championship title. Six rounds before season end they are already 13 points ahead their hardest rival Real Madrid. The last round brought a difficult 1:0 home win over UD Levante through Cesc Fabregas' winning goal. Thereby Barca coach Tito Vilanova have rested Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi. The defensive players Pique, Alba and Busquets are fit for the first leg against Bayern, doubtful will be Messi's appearance. Messi injured in the quarterfinal first leg at Paris SG (2:2) and missed the last three league matches. Not in the squad are the defenders Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano and Adriano.
 Barcelona are 13 points clear at the top of la liga and have won 5 of their last 6 matches.  Their form might not be as dominant as Bayern’s but any side who are 13 points clear of Real Madrid have had a fantastic season and they well deserve to regain their title.  In the quarter finals Barcelona faced a very tough PSG side and we saw two very close games.  The first leg in Paris finished 2-2 after PSG’s injury time equaliser stopped a likely Barcelona win.  Barcelona went into the second leg at home as big favourites but PSG made it very tough for them and they went behind to a Javier Pastore goal in the 50 minute.  Barcelona never panic in such situations though and they got the goal they need through Pedro with 20 minutes remaining and held on for an away goals win.  The match was much closer than most people thought but with Messi playing around 75 minutes of the 180 total they were always going to struggle.
 The new German champion FC Bayern Munich is in great form. Heynckes' side have won the last eight official matches, including two 2:0 wins over Juventus Turin in the Champions League quarterfinals. Furthermore Bayern München have won 18 of their 19 matches since the winter break. The last Bundesliga round brought a 6:1 thrashing win at Hannover 96, although manager Jupp Heynckes have rested some key-players like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez, Philipp Lahm and Dante. For the top match against Barcelona Heynckes will bring his best possible starting eleven. Not in the squad are Holger Badstuber, Toni Kroos and Mario Mandzukic.
Bayern Munich have already clinched the German Bundesliga title and have a 20 point lead over rivals Borussia Dortmund.  Their domination has been complete this year and they have put together 13 straight wins in the league, just astonishing consistency. 

 Possible line-ups:
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Lahm • Buyten • Dante • Alaba; Martínez • Schweinsteiger; Robben • Müller • Ribéry; Gómez.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdés; Alves • Piqué • Bartra • Alba; Xavi • Busquets • Iniesta; Pedro • Messi • Sánchez.