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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...

 By Michael Cox

The differences between Guardiola's Barcelona vs. Guardiola's Bayern

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 super club era, and the resulting repetition in the Champions League knockout stage, means it was inevitable that Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola would meet old club Barcelona at some point.

It's somewhat fitting that it comes in at the semifinal stage, because the 2013 semifinal between Bayern and Barca was effectively when Guardiola's reign at Bayern started. In reality, he wasn't literally involved in the tie, having departed Barca the previous summer. But Guardiola had already been announced...

 By Rory Smith

Champions League in danger of losing its appeal by becoming too predictable

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 rhetoric is already being ramped up. Sergio Ramos has described the first leg of Real Madrid's Champions League semifinal with Juventus as one of "three finals" for Carlo Ancelotti's team this season. Lionel Messi is busy insisting that the prospect of meeting Pep Guardiola is not motivating Barcelona's players; Thomas Muller is confident his coach's intimate knowledge of his former club gives Bayern Munich the most slender of advantages.

This week is one of those rare occasions when the hype...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Barcelona-Bayern: Champions League predicted XIs

ESPN FC's Martin Ainstein previews the Champions League semifinal as Barcelona takes on former manager Josep Guardiola and his Bayern side.
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.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno and Janusz Michallik examine the effects of Luis Enrique's managment style on Barcelona post Pep Guardiola's era.

Pep Guardiola returns to Barcelona with his current club Bayern Munich on Wednesday and 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.

Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich

Barca XI
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Barcelona team news: Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has a full squad to choose from -- with Jordi Alba expected to overcome a minor foot problem to start at left-back. This means the South American superstar trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez...

 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...