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Bayern Munich

Statistical breakdown of UCL semis

Five Aside
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History means nothing in the Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich duel

The ESPN FC team discuss Robert Lewandowski's mask he will be featuring in Bayern Munich's clash with Barcelona, where Raf Honigstein believes Lewandowski seems to be comfortable despite suffering a fractured nose and jaw at the end of April.

Beware the law of small numbers. Up until the semifinal in Belo Horizonte last summer -- you'll probably remember, it finished 7-1 -- Germany had never beaten Brazil at a World Cup before. They had not even managed a draw against the Selecao. Only defeats. Or, to be a bit more accurate: one defeat, in their one and only meeting up until then, in the 2002 final in Yokohoma. 2-0, Brazil won that one.

When the sample size is so small, it's not a good idea to draw grandiose conclusions. Yes, FC Bayern's...

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...

Can Andres Iniesta beat Pep Guardiola, the man who made him great at Barca?

ESPN FC's Martin Ainstein previews the Champions League semifinal as Barcelona takes on former manager Josep Guardiola and his Bayern side.

Let's go back to the Camp Nou press room in March 2009.

FC Barcelona have just beaten Athletic Bilbao 2-0. In the distance is the treble. They'll win it, too, in Pep Guardiola's first season. Exactly a month away is the Champions League quarterfinal, home and then away to the other FCB: FC Bayern München.

Guardiola is commenting on the match his side have just won and suddenly goes into overdrive. He says about his No. 8 that day: "Andrés [Iniesta] stands alone. Beyond the fact that he's a terrific...

 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...