Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona Pick

Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona - Champions League Match Preview, Allianz Arena Munich, Germany 3:45 PM EST Tuesday April 23, 2013
By Jason Green, Soccer Handicapper, Predictem.com

Match Odds: Bayern Munich 2.37 / Barcelona 3.00 / Draw 3.40
Moneyline: Bayern Munich +138 / Barcelona +150 / Draw +240
Over/Under: 2.5 goals

NOTE: Both teams play this weekend, so there may be some key injuries.

In the first leg semifinal match up in the Champions League German giant host Barcelona. Bayern has been the runner up in the Champions League 2 times in the last 4 seasons and will this be their year?

Bayern has run away with the Bundesliga title on the season and they only have 2 losses at home all season 1 in the Bundesliga and 1 in the Champions League.

Barcelona has not lost since the beginning of March. However, in their last 5 matches they have played to 3 draws.

Barcelona is also the likely winner of the Spanish La Liga unless they have a huge meltdon, which is not going to happen for the elite club. The big question for Barca is will Lionel Messi play? Cesc Fabregas stated that he will play and even though he was not 100% he came in the 2nd half in the last CL match against PSG and he was key, as the Spanish sqaud scored a goal in the 2nd half.

Bayern still has a good shot at winning the triple crown this season, as they have already won the Bundesliga, they are in the finals of the DFB Pokal and semifinals of the Champions League.

Bayern has a solid record against Barca winning 3, losing 1, and playing to 2 draws, but in an interesting fact Barcelona has never lost a European Cup tie to a German side going 7-0.

Arjen Robben, Mario Mandzukic and Bastian Schweinsteiger are the trio that the Barcelona defense has to worry about and whil their D has been up and down this season they have only given up 1 goal in their last 3 matches.

Barcelona will need Messi to play, as the La Liga goal scoring king creates match up problems for any defense. Speaking of defense Bayern had their streak of 4 straight clean sheets snapped in their last match, but they only gave up 1 goal. G Manuel Neuer leads a great Bayern defense and they will be tested in this match.

One key player for Bayern will be Franck Ribry. He and the rest of the midfielders have a big task in this match, as Barcelona plays keep away with their great bal control and midfield and it is important that Bayern not allow Barca to dominate the time of possession, especially on their home field.

Messi has broken the record scoring 43 goals in La Liga this season, but if he is not 100% he will need help. David Villa has 8 goals on the season with Cesc Fbregas having 9, but he struggled to get anything going without Messi in the lineup in the 1-1 draw against PSG in their last CL match.

Bayern has scored 10 goals in their last 2 matches and at home it is key that they come out firing and not play a defensive match. They have to assert their offense in this match since they will be big underdogs in the 2nd leg of this tie in Spain.

Bayern Munich Recent Form

4/2/2013 Bayern Munich 2 Juventus 0 (Champions League)
4/6/2013 Eintracht Frankfurt 0 Bayern Munich 1 (Bundesliga)
4/10/2013 Juventus 0 Bayern Munich 2 (Champions League)
4/13/2013 Bayern Munich 4 Nurnberg 0 (Bundesliga)
4/16/2013 Bayern Munich 6 VfL Wolfsburg 1 (DFB Pokal Semi-finals)

Barcelona Recent Form

3/30/2013 Celta Vigo 2 Barcelona 2 (La Liga)
4/2/2013 Paris Saint-Germain 2 Barcelona 2 (Champions League)
4/6/2013 Barcelona 5 Mallorca 5 (La Liga)
4/10/2013 Barcelona 1 Paris Saint-Germain 1 (Champions League)
4/14/2013 Real Zaragoza 0 Barcelona 3 (La Liga)

Jason’s Pick to Win the Match: This one is a hard one to call and harder since I like Barca and do not like Bayern. Still, Bayern is at home and they are in great form. In this one I am not going to pick a winner, as I think this game will end in a 1-1 draw with Messi accounting for the lone Barcelona score.