There was only one team that worried me going into this draw for Barcelona.
Well, worry is a strong word. After all, why would a team that plays so beautifully, shares the ball so well, and has three of the world's deadliest strikers worry about any other team?
When that other team is Bayern Munich.
The defending Bundesliga champions have lots of things going for them here. The second leg of the tie is in Munich. They have just gotten playmaker Franck Ribery back from injury. They play technically sound football, and are excellent on set pieces.
Did I mention that they dropped 12 goals on Sporting Lisbon? OK, it was Sporting Lisbon. But still, 12? Sheesh.
Not to mention the fact that Victor Valdes has not exactly been lighting in up in goal for Barca lately. Or ever, for that matter, but especially lately.
Despite all of this, Barcelona has significant advantages. They are clearly the better team. Thierry Henry has never won the Champions League title, and wants one badly, Samuel Eto'o, Lionel Messi, and Yaya Toure are arguably the best in the world at their positions (well, maybe not Messi. He is definitely the best).
They have experience and confidence.
Even Ribery says that Barcelona is the best team in the world. Of course that could be because he wants to play there next year, but still. Bayern coach Jurgen Klinsmann said the same thing.
They will be missing top forward Miroslav Klose for six weeks with an ankle injury. They don't have the speed to keep up.
If Barcelona has a weakness, it is on set pieces and in goal. Bayern's advantages here make this a great matchup. The key, of course, will be the first game at Camp Nou. The Germans must keep that one close. If they can keep it within one, or steal a tie, they have a shot.
If they get beaten, say, 4-2, they are in trouble.
Let’s be honest. Bayern is a great club, with a great history. They are run well, and have a great manager, in Klinsmann. They have the ability to score goals in bunches, and they defend well.
But can they outscore the likes of Eto’o, Henry, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, and Alves, just to name a few? Can they get enough past Valdes to win, without Miroslav Klose to finish?
It says here no. Will they get blown out? Possibly, but not likely.
3-1 agg, Barcelona.
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