Barcelona pair Lionel Messi and Daniel Alves were restricted to substitute appearances at the weekend in order to rest for the tie against Bayern Munich. Veteran defender Carles Puyol made his comeback from injury against Valladolid on Saturday and should start for Barca.
Bayern defender Lucio is likely to miss the first leg with a groin strain, while Miroslav Klose (ankle) is out. Defender Martin Demichelis is fit and available, while French midfielder Franck Ribery should also feature. The German side have won three and drawn one of their four games against Barcelona in Europe and have come out victorious on both of their previous visits to Spain.
The two sides go into the game in contrasting form, Barcelona recorded a 1-0 win over Real Valladolid after a strike from Samuel Eto’o, while Bayern went down 5-1 to Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.
- These two former champions are the joint-highest scorers in this season’s competition with 24 goals each from eight games. In Barcelona’s case they have also conceded the most goals of any of the last-eight participants – eleven – and have still to keep a clean sheet on home soil.
- That statistic should offer hope to German titleholders Bayern as they look to improve on a recent record of three consecutive defeats at this stage of the UEFA Champions League – in 2002, 2005 and 2007.
- Bayern can point to three wins in four previous meetings with Barcelona but the Spanish club, semi-finalists last term, boast an impressive run of form against German opposition having won ten and drawn one of their last eleven matches against sides from the Bundesliga.
- Barcelona advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-3 aggregate victory over Olympique Lyonnais in the first knockout round (1-1 away, 5-2 at home). Josep Guardiola’s team had earlier topped Group C with a record of W4 D1 L1.
- Bayern are one of three unbeaten sides left in the competition alongside Liverpool and Manchester United. They progressed from the last 16 in emphatic fashion after crushing Sporting Clube de Portugal 12-1 on aggregate (5-0 away, 7-1 at home). Prior to that they had finished first in Group F with a record of W4 D2 L0.
- Coaches Guardiola and Jürgen Klinsmann were both in action when Barcelona and Bayern met for the first time in the semi-finals of the 1995/96 UEFA Cup. The teams drew 2-2 in Munich before Bayern – with Klinsmann again present, but Guardiola absent – advanced to the final with a 2-1 success at the Camp Nou. Carlos Busquets, father of Barcelona midfielder Sérgio, featured in goal for the Azulgrana in both legs.