Bayern Munich renew rivalry with Barcelona in Champions League

Bayern Munich face Barcelona in Champions League group stage in 2020/21 campaign.(Photo by MANU FERNANDEZ/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Bayern Munich face Barcelona in Champions League group stage in 2020/21 campaign.(Photo by MANU FERNANDEZ/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Champions League football is all set to resume after the first international break of the season in September. Bayern Munich will be looking to make amends after failing to defend the title last season, courtesy of narrow defeat on away goals against Paris Saint-Germain in the quarterfinal.

UEFA held group stage draws for the new campaign on Thursday as Bayern Munich was pitted against European rival Barcelona in Group E. Benfica and Dynamo Kiev are the other teams in the group. Rekordmeister managed to avoid various tricky groups.

The last game between Die Roten and Barcelona is one of the most historic games in the Champions League history. The German club inflicted 8-2 loss on Barcelona in the single-leg quarter-final in 2020/21. However, the Catalan club had the upper hand in the knockout round during the 2014/15 campaign.

Barcelona is not in the best condition right now as Lionel Messi left the club for PSG this summer. The club’s financial woes made sure that Messi couldn’t renew his contract. Despite the absence of Messi, Barcelona still has amazing attacking talent in Antoine Griezmann and new arrival Memphis Depay. In the midfield department, they have two promising young players- Pedri and Frenkie De Jong.

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The away games against Benfica and Dynamo Kiev will be intriguing as fans are returning to stadiums. Playing against a hostile atmosphere will be intimidating, but the German club has been enjoying a good record in group stages over the past decade. The Bavarian faithful will also witness Champions League football at Allianz Arena after more than 18 months.

After making a good debut in DFB Pokal and DFL Supercup, Nagelsmann will be eyeing a strong start in the Champions League to lay down the marker. The German manager did fairly well with RB Leipzig in Europe during the last two seasons. He managed to take them to the semi-final in 2019/20 by beating Atletico Madrid in the quarter-final.

In the next campaign, Leipzig qualified for knockout rounds from a group of death that involved Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain. The 3-2 home win against Man United was particularly impressive since Leipzig used a fluid system and killed the game in the first half.

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All three teams will be a good test for Nagelsmann as he begins the quest to bring the trophy back to Allianz Arena. The immediate focus for the team and Nagelsmann will be the upcoming weekend’s Bundesliga game against Hertha Berlin at Allianz Arena.