In a matchup that many hoped would take place in Berlin for the finals, Barcelona and Bayern Munich will have to settle for a semifinal clash that kicks off tomorrow at Nou Camp.
The biggest storyline revolves around Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, who makes his first return to Barcelona since leaving the club in 2012.
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Guardiola had a decorated career at Nou Camp as both a player and manager. As a player, Guardiola won six La Liga titles and a Champions League title in 1992. As manager, Pep led Barca to three consecutive La Liga trophies and two Champions League titles.
His total of fourteen trophies in four years as boss makes Guardiola the most successful manager in club history.
In his return to Barcelona, Guardiola’s Bayern side will not only have to battle Lionel Messi, but injuries as well.
The German champions will be without Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Holger Badstuber and David Alaba, as Bayern has been hit hard by the injuruy bug in recent weeks. Some good news, Robert Lewandowski should be fit to play while wearing a protective mask after fracturing his cheekbone in a match last week.
The last time these two teams met in the Champions League was the semifinals in 2013, where Bayern rolled through Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate, including a 3-0 win at Nou Camp. Two years removed, Messi & Co. will be keen to avenge their embarrassing defeat.
How they got here
Barcelona: Group stage — Paris Saint-Germain, Ajax and APOEL; Round of 16 — 3-1 agg., vs. Manchester City; Quarterfinals — 5-1 agg., vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Bayern Munich: Group stage — Manchester City, Roma and CSKA Moscow; Round of 16 — 7-0 agg., vs. Shakhtar Donetsk; Quarterfinals — 7-4 agg., vs. Porto