Real Madrid will play their first leg against the Italians on 5th May in turin while Barça play their first leg on 6th May at the Nou Camp against Bayern.
So what should we expect from a Barça vs Bayern semi final? Expect fireworks to say the least! Both teams have met before and know each other enough to expect a fight to the end in both legs, Barça have the edge and are slight favorites to progress. The Catalans have been playing extraordinarily well over the last few weeks and Luis Suárez is one man who can make the difference in this type of game. Suárez always rises to the occasion and he’s a big game specialist in my book. He’s had a tough start but he’s finally found his feet and is my choice to cause havoc against Bayern.
It will also be a meeting of two managers that know each other pretty well, too. Luis Enrique played alongside Pep Guardiola whilst at Barcelona and now the two managers go head to head. While Enrique’s team is no “Pep team” as the Spanish newspapers like to call it, he has managed to build a winning side that is a joy to watch. They may not be passing the ball around at the back and walking off the pitch with 80% of the ball possession, but the Asturian’s side gets the job done.
Goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen also believes that the Catalans are at Bayern’s level. “It will be a great duel,” he told Bild. “We have a great team, are in top shape and will try to raise our game. “We know Bayern have a lot of quality. I look forward to the reunion, it will be a close tie and I hope we can prevail in the end.”
The young keeper has yet to play in a league game for Barcelona but has played between the sticks in 10 Champions League matches. Luis Enrique uses him in a similar way Guardiola used José Manuel Pinto for all the Copa del Rey games, leaving out first choice keeper Victor Valdés. An unusual modus operandi but it seemed to work out alright.
Ter Stegen is also quite familiar with Bayern Munich, having faced them on several occasions during his spell at Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga.
Whatever happens on May 6th at the Nou Camp, Barcelona will then have to travel for the second leg to meet the Germans on May 12th for a final duel at the mighty Allianz Arena in Munich.