It’s Time for Truth at the Allianz Arena.

Frank Ribery vs. Dany Alves.
Frank Ribery vs. Dany Alves.

The Blaugranas head to Germany to face FC Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena for the first leg of a semifinal clash. The match which have been described as a ‘cracker of a game’ by medias in both Spain and Germany will, have two of the best sides in Europe battle for a slot in Wembley.
Different peoples see today’s game from different perspectives, as it’s expected of every big match. A recent publication by the Barcelona- based El Mundo Deportivo expressed positive views about the chances of the Catalans coming top in tonight game. ‘A smiling Messi is the best signal,’ El Mundo Deportivo explained before predicting that the Argentinean will receive the medical all- clear to play at the Allianz Arena.
“For the first time in years, it seems as if Barcelona are not going into an eliminator with the tag of favourites. Bayern might be the in- form team in Europe right now but there is one indisputable fact to consider, facing them tonight are a side that many believe to be the best of all time,” Mundo Deportivo explains.
Germans have been lending their voices to a team recently crowned Champion of Budensliga. One man at the center- stage is former Bayern Munich captain Oliver Khan. Khan believes tonight’s encounter stands as the ‘moment of truth’ for the Bayern.
“Barcelona have shown this season how vulnerable they can be at the back,” said the 2001 UEFA Champions League winner.
“However, in the crucial moment, (Lionel) Messi, (Andres) Iniesta and Xavi (Hernandez) have always pulled out world- class performances. In my opinion, the tie will be a very open one. Exiting the competition would be a huge disappointment to the fans and the players after such a dominant season. It’s the moment of truth for Bayern.”
Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic will miss the Champions League showdown against Barcelona through suspension. Also, long- term injury victims Toni Kroos (groin) and Holger Badstuber (knee) remain absent.
Philippe Lahm, Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger should all return to the starting line- up after being rested for Saturday’s 6-1 win over Hannover.
The defensive options available to FC Barcelona coach, Tito Vilanova for the evening clash is a matter of urgency. With Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano both injured and Adriano suspended, there are predictions over the Spanish media that Marc Bartra will start alongside Gerard Pique in the heart of defence despite the return of Eric Abidal.
Lionel Messi’s return to full training is a major boost to the Catalans’ starting eleven after missing the last two games with a hamstring strain.
Did you know the Blaugranas are on an eight- match unbeaten run on German soil, stretching back to 2001? Well, Bayern has won eighteen of their last nineteen matches in all competitions, with the solitary defeat coming from Arsenal in the Champions League round of 16 second leg.
The Bavarians giants have lost just one of 20 previous home encounters against Spanish opponents (W14, D5, L1). Bayern have won three of its six previous meetings with Barcelona in European competition (W3, D2, L1).
Barcelona has only won 2 of its last 8 away games in all competitions (W2, D4, L2).
For Bayern Munich, this is a third semifinal in four years; anything short of a win tonight, reduces their chances of going past the stage (so also conceding at home). Meanwhile, a Barca team, spearheaded by Messi, could pose a threat to any defence- line in the world any day.