PHOTOMONTAGE Preview of the CL quarterfinal FC BARCELONA FC BAYERN MUENCHEN on 14 08 2020, Estadio da Luz Lisbon The big showdown and a real CK firecracker will take place on Friday between FC Bayern and the Catalans. Source: t-online.de
David Alaba and FC Bayern continue their triple mission on Friday evening (21.00 hrs/live Sky) with the Champions League quarter-final clash against FC Barcelona. For Alaba, however, much more is at stake in the coming days. On the fringes of the final tournament in Lisbon, the Munich team plans to meet with the Vienna-based advisor, in whom Barca is also expected to be interested.
“We agreed a few weeks ago that if we qualify for Lisbon, we would meet there. I don’t know whether it will be a final meeting at the end of the day,” Bayern Munich’s CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Sky about the planned meeting with Pini Zahavi. Rummenigge once again emphasised that he wanted to keep Alaba on board, who is currently committed until summer 2021. “We have always made it clear that we are interested in David staying with Bayern Munich. I think David also knows what Bayern Munich is worth to him,” Rummenigge said on Thursday before the flight to Portugal.
On Friday, Alaba will once again be in demand as central defender. Left-back Alphonso Davies, who was forced to withdraw on Wednesday due to a injury in training, has reported fit again, so a possible replacement for Alaba in his former position is no longer an issue. It is Alaba’s third match against the Catalans, and so far he has always come away victorious. In the 2012/13 semi-finals, he scored one goal each in the 4-0 and 3-0 victories, and in the final match against BVB, Bayern scored the last of a total of five CL and Meistercup victories.
Bayern light favourite
Barca also holds on to this number, making the Friday duel the clear quarter-final hit: they are the only CL winners in the field of participants. And the winner of the previous three knockout rounds also won the title – 2009 and 2015 Barcelona, 2013 the Bavarians. They are now going into a match as light favourites, giving the Spaniards the chance to save a messed-up season with a title. Of 23 games in 2020, the Bavarians won 22 in a draw. In the CL round of 16 last Saturday, they gave Chelsea another 4-1 rebuff after a 3-0 first leg draw.
The eleventh duel between the two teams (6 Bayern wins, 2 draws, 2 Barca wins) will probably also be a duel between the two German goalkeepers Manuel Neuer (Bayern) and Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but above all between the offensive stars Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi. Much will depend on which of the two gets the better day: With 53 goals in 44 season’s compulsory matches, Lewandowski is the ultimate guarantee of success.
All against Messi
But Barcelona has Messi. To stop the Argentinean, many teams have already failed in this task. Not only recently Napoli, who lost 3-1 in the first leg in Barcelona last Saturday after a 1-1 draw – “the flea” scored a goal and took out a penalty. The Bavarians with Messi expert Pep Guardiola also failed in their last duel so far in 2015, when Messi twice fooled the Munich defence in the 3-0 first leg and Neuer overcame. Alaba was missing injured.
Stop Messi? “I think this only works as a collective,” replied Bavaria’s midfielder Leon Goretzka. The young Davies is particularly challenged as a nominally direct opponent. “But we also know that there are many more stars than just Messi at Barcelona,” Goretzka said – for example, the attacking aces Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann. “We know it’s difficult,” said the latter again in an interview on the Barca homepage, “but we also know that will have the quality to qualify for the semi-finals.
- hector pascua with reports from news agencies and kurier.at
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