- (Photo: Reuters/Gustau Nacarino)
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich takes place in the Champions League semi final second leg on Wednesday night with Barcelona having a mountain to climb to get back into this tie. However, if there was one team that could pull off a turn around in this semi final, you'd have to choose Barcelona, and the fact they will be in front of their home Nou Camp crowd sure ensure an intimidating atmosphere for the German team.
The game is scheduled to kick off at 2.45 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream (details below).
Bayern hold a 4-0 lead from the first leg in Germany, and most pundits do not give Barcelona a chance of turning this game around. Bayern have been one of the most consistent teams in the competition and unless their play implodes then it is hard to see them collapsing to such a heavy defeat.
However, Barcelona will be looking to get an early goal to put pressure on the German team. If they can do that, and then score even just one more before half time it could make for a frantic second half, and the Bayern players could begin to panic.
But it must be remembered, Barcelona were unable to score an away goal in Germany meaning if Bayern score even once, then Barcelona will need to sore six times to take the tie.
Bayern no doubt will look to soak up the predicted early pressure from Barcelona and ensure they do not concede early on. If they can get through the first 30 minutes with the scores still 0-0 then the Barcelona play could become more desperate and impatient, opening the door for Bayern to hit them on the counter-attack and score that critical away goal.
It has been reported that Bayern Munich will field a full-strength side against Barcelona despite six of their first team players already being on a yellow card. If any of them pick up another yellow tonight then they could miss the final.
"The players know they must play in a disciplined manner, which means no gestures, no unnecessary fouls and not to be provoked," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes.
Lionel Messi's return to fitness continues, and he scored in his team's Spanish La Liga game at the weekend. During the first leg he gave a particularly lackluster performance, leading many to question whether he was fit enough to come back yet. However, a week later he is now looking more confident and energetic, and if he can be on top form tonight then it should make for an electrifying atmosphere in the Nou Camp. Messi has scored 54 goals in 45 appearances this season
"We need the same composure, strong running and tactical nous," added Heynckes. "Barcelona are the best team in the world. We know that they have already achieved huge results at home. When your pride is hurt you'll try anything, so we need a top performance."
"We know what [Lionel] Messi means," said Barcelona defender Gerard Pique. "He is the best in the world and to have him in the team is the best news. We need everyone, especially Messi. I do not want us to commit mistakes because we have enough work as it is to play a good match and be better than the opponent. We believe we will turn this around 100%. We need to score a goal as soon as possible to get more and more confident. After a 4-0 result you do doubt yourself, but as days go on, you suddenly believe you can do this. Football is very psychological."
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich is scheduled to kick off at 2.45 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream by clicking here.