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Friday, March 20, 2009

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich Quarterfinal Clash in CL 2008-09

The quarterfinal line up of Champions League 2008-09 is up and it looks like a very exciting line up for the fans. Of course, English clubs are dominating the scenario but there is life after the EPL clubs. I think that one of the top clashes in quarterfinals to enjoy is the match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Bayern Munich is one of the most successful clubs in the history of Champions league with four titles to their credit. The ease with which German champion Bayern Munich outclassed Sporting Lisbon 12-1 on aggregate in the first knock-out round, it seems that Bayern is playing at their best. Bayern Munich defeated Sporting Lisbon 7-1 at home and 5-0 on the road. No doubt, the two victories must have increased the confidence level of Bayern Munich and they would now go into the quarter final stage full of confident. I think, confidence is one of the very important things when it comes to getting over a knock out stage like Champions League quarter final.

Bayern Munich defeated VfL Bochum 3-0 on the road in their recent German Bundesliga match last week. Overall, the Bavarians are enjoying their best form this season and that is where their hopes in Champions League lie. However, the German club has a couple of injury woes to contend with. Key striker Miroslav Klose is now out of action as he has recently undergone a surgery on his ankle and it is expected that the German international would require 6-8 weeks to be back in action. So, it is less likely that Klose will be able to take part in any of the two quarter final legs of Bayern Munich in Europe. Striker Luca Toni is also injured though he is expected to be fully fit before Bayern Munich play the first leg of quarter final match. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Galaxy striker Landon Donovan already joined his US team following a loan spell at the German club.

Still, Bayern Munich has a quality striker in Lukas Podolski, but if Toni can not recover in time, the German club will be left with a very few options in its attacking line up. However, they have an excellent midfielder in Franck Ribéry who could be lethal for any opposition. In the presence of Captain Mark van Bommel, Hamit Altıntop, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Munich has a very strong midfield. Their defense features the players like Lúcio, Philipp Lahm, Daniel van Buyten and Martín Demichelis who all are well known for what they are capable of when it comes to on-field performance. Goalkeeper Michael Rensing is also doing a good job.

So, I think, Bayern Munich has every chance to progress into the last four in Europe this season, though I am not quite sure if they will be able to continue their current scintillating form in the coming weeks as well.

In UEFA champions league, the Spanish clubs used to dominate and Barcelona and real Madrid are the two key figures in the Spanish dominance of this tournament. In this season, There is no real Madrid because they have been eliminated in the group stage. So, I did up to Barcelona now to do something substantial and they have the players to go all the way. IN the group stage, Barcelona was in Group C and they emerged as the group winner. IN fact, they did not lose a single match and just drew one and won the other 4. This shows that they are in superb form in Champions League. IN the group stage, this Spanish club scored 18 goals and suffered just 8 goals.

Of course, some critics may say that Barcelona had an easier group compared to other big clubs. May be they are right still +10 goal difference is impressive to me in European stage. In the knockout stage, it faced Lyon and in the first leg, the match was 1-1 draw. Then, in the second leg, Barcelona thrashed Leon 5-2. This is the background of the Spanish club in CL this season. In the domestic form, it is in superb form. It has dominated the La Liga this season right from the start and is poised to win the title. In fact, after 27 matches, Barcelona has managed to get 66 points and is ahead of its nearest club Real Madrid by 6 points.

Barcelona has undoubted some of the top players in the world today. Just look at their attacking side: Eto, Henry, Messi. They can destroy any defense any day. All of them are in excellent form. Messi is indeed the most attacking forward playing in La Liga today. Henry is perhaps at last getting his form in Spain. All of them have got decent number of goals and this the most important part.

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