Spain

Predicted XI: Xavi to select in-form youngsters for Barcelona’s Bayern Munich test

Barcelona face Bayern Munich this evening in the second match of the Champions League group stages. While no result this evening will be definitive, most are characterising the match as a test of the Blaugrana’s development under Xavi Hernandez.

Bayern Munich do come into the match in less impressive form, drawing all three of their recent Bundesliga fixtures, while Barcelona are on a run of five straight victories. The Bavarians have had their way with Barcelona in recent years though, inflicting some painful defeats.

Both Sport and Mundo Deportivo have predicted the same line-up for Barcelona this evening, which shows a certain degree of consensus within Can Barca.

Xavi is set to continue selecting those who he sees in form, most notably Eric Garcia and Alejandro Balde in defence, making for an inexperienced left side. Jules Kounde will to reprise his unfavoured role on the right side of defence too, against more mobile forwards such as Leroy Sane, Sadio Mane and Serge Gnabry.

Further forward, Gavi is expected to continue keeping Frenkie de Jong out of the side. Naturally the headline of the match is Robert Lewandowski’s return to the Allianz Arena.

 

Predicted Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Koundé, Araujo, Eric, Balde; Busquets, Pedri, Gavi; Dembélé, Lewandowski, Raphinha.