Bayern Munich have already secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, but they’re still going to go all out to secure victory tomorrow evening against Barcelona. The Blaugrana come to Germany in desperate need of victory – if they don’t win, and Benfica beat Dynamo Kyiv in the group’s other game, they’re going to be headed for the Europa League.
Bayern have been near-perfect under Julian Nagelsmann in the Champions League this season. They’re top of Group E, with five victories from five games. They’re seven points clear of second-placed Barcelona, ten clear of third-placed Benfica and 14 clear of bottom-placed Dynamo. They’re also top of the Bundesliga, four points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund.
Barcelona are in weaker form. They’re seventh in La Liga, six points off fourth-placed Atletico Madrid and 16 behind league leaders Real Madrid. They suffered the first defeat of the Xavi era at the weekend at Camp Nou, losing 1-0 to Real Betis. Despite this, the Catalan coach is going into the game with confidence.
“I’m working to win the game tomorrow and get to the second round,” Xavi said in his pre-match press conference in comments carried by Diario Sport. “This is our reality, then in other competitions we’ll see where we are come the end of the season. We are Barcelona and we have to try to win everything.
“Tomorrow we can make history. Why not think about Barcelona’s first-ever victory in Munich? Bayern is one of the best teams in the world. I hope our recent defeats to them don’t affect us psychologically. The players have to forget everything, that’s my mission. We’ll go out to dominate the game through having the ball, through being protagonists. We’ll try everything even though it’s complicated.”