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Bayern Munich

Statistical breakdown of UCL semis

Five Aside
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Fit-again Robert Lewandowski ready to lead Bayern Munich's attack

The ESPN FC crew discuss Bayern Munich Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's comments on Robert Lewandowski starting against Barcelona in the first leg of Champions League semifinals.

In last week's DfB Pokal semifinal loss to Borussia Dortmund, the spectacular prematch tifo from a section of Bayern Munich fans depicting favourites Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben as caped crusaders (or "Badman & Robben," as it was annotated) was almost as striking as the penalty shootout in which Pep Guardiola's side missed all four of their kicks.

If that colourful tribute left no doubt as to the esteem in which these two major architects of Bayern's latter-day success are held, then it is also...

Pep Guardiola faces biggest challenge yet against former club Barcelona

The ESPN FC crew give their take on the SPI prediction that gives Barcelona a slight edge over Bayern Munich in the semifinals of the Champions League.

The wonder, and real key to the Champions League semifinal between Barcelona and Bayern Munich, is whether Pep Guardiola has by now found what he describes as the "flash of inspiration ... the moment that makes sense of my profession."

Because, by the time the Bayern coach returns to the luscious lights and 99,000 welcoming fans of the Camp Nou on Wednesday, Guardiola will hope to disappoint those same fans by drawing on what he has deduced from hours spent alone in a darkened room.

It is his preparation...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Juve-Real Madrid; Barcelona-Bayern: Champions League predicted XIs

Take a By The Numbers look ahead of the Champions League semifinal first legs, as Real Madrid search for consecutive Champions League titles and Bayern Munich aim to continue their dominance at the Camp Nou.

The Champions League is down to the final four with Italian champions Juventus hosting European champions Real Madrid on Tuesday and Pep Guardiola returning to Barcelona with his current club Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Ahead of the fixtures we've factored in form, suspensions and injuries to predict the possible starting XIs for each team as they look to gain a first-leg advantage.

Juventus vs. Real Madrid

Juventus XI
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Juventus team news: Juventus will be without star midfielder Paul Pogba (thigh) and...

 By Mark Lovell

Bayern Munich hope to overcome injury woe against Barcelona in UCL

Take a By The Numbers look ahead of the Champions League semifinal first legs, as Real Madrid search for consecutive Champions League titles and Bayern Munich aim to continue their dominance at the Camp Nou.

Having seen their treble hopes dashed by Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup, Bayern Munich face an even bigger test of their European credentials against Barcelona in the Champions League.

However, if anyone has insider information on how to crack the Barca code, then it is Bayern Munich's manager, Pep Guardiola. In four silverware-laden years between 2008 and 2012, Guardiola racked up an amazing 14 trophies as Barcelona coach, including three consecutive La Liga titles between 2009...

Statistical breakdown of Real Madrid-Juventus and Bayern-Barcelona

Take a By The Numbers look ahead of the Champions League semifinal first legs, as Real Madrid search for consecutive Champions League titles and Bayern Munich aim to continue their dominance at the Camp Nou.

The Champions League semifinals kick off on Tuesday. Here is a statistical look at both matches this week, complete with Soccer Power Index (SPI) projections:

Juventus vs. Real Madrid (Tuesday)

Real Madrid and Juventus are ranked third and fourth among the semifinalists according to SPI. As a result, each received its best possible draw for the remainder of the tournament. Real Madrid would have been an underdog against both Bayern Munich and Barcelona, but is instead a 62 percent favorite to...

 By Lee Roden

Champions League semifinals rest on four one-on-one battles

Take a By The Numbers look ahead of the Champions League semifinal first legs, as Real Madrid search for consecutive Champions League titles and Bayern Munich aim to continue their dominance at the Camp Nou.

The business end of the Champions League is upon us, and with seven the minimum number of final appearances made by each team in this year's last four, the current semifinals promise to be particularly spectacular.

Real Madrid may be gunning to become the first team to defend the trophy in the Champions League era, but with a win in this competition being the one achievement eluding Juventus in their post-Calciopoli scandal resurgence, the will of the Italians shouldn't be underestimated -- and neither...