Bayern Munich: Three things to watch for in trip to Barcelona

Bayern Munich players switch attention to Champions League clash against Barcelona. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Bayern Munich players switch attention to Champions League clash against Barcelona. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images) /

The opening group stage match of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League campaign awaits Bayern Munich. Their opponents will be none other than La Liga giants Barcelona. After defeating Barcelona 8-2 the last time these two sides met in the Champions League, this match will offer Barcelona the opportunity to avenge that disastrous defeat. However, with the recent departure of Lionel Messi from the club that task will be a difficult one. Here are three things to watch for ahead of Tuesday’s match.

Can Barcelona slow down Bayern’s attack?

After scoring just one goal against Borussia Monchengladbach on Matchday One of the Bundesliga season, Bayern has since then been scoring goals in droves. In their last five matches in all competitions, Die Roten have scored 27 goals. Their most recent offensive showcase was against RB Leipzig over the past weekend when they scored four goals against Die Rotten Bullen away from home.

Bayern’s offense power has shown no signs of slowing down in recent weeks and they have the potential to cause trouble for a Barcelona backline that has yet to keep a clean sheet this season. Even when playing on the road Bayern has had little trouble finding the back of the net. If Barcelona is unable to slow down Bayern’s attacking ability then it will very likely be another difficult match against the Bundesliga champions.

Stopping Memphis Depay

Barcelona’s summer signing has been an early offensive leader for the Spanish club. He has two goals and one assist in three La Liga appearances. Additionally, Depay currently leads the club in shot-creating actions, goal-creating actions, and shots on target. His impact has helped Barcelona to record seven points from their first three league fixtures and he has certainly been one of their top performers.

On Tuesday, Bayern will be tasked with limiting the impact Depay has on the final outcome. He is in fantastic form at the moment as he scored five goals during the September international break for the Netherlands.

If Bayern is able to stop Depay from creating a high number of chances for himself and his teammates then this will put them on a path to all three points on the road. So far every La Liga club Barcelona has faced this season has failed to prevent him from recording either a goal or an assist, and as a result, Barcelona has remained undefeated. (Stats courtesy: fbref)

Three key stats from 4-1 win over RB Leipzig. dark. Next

Setting an early tone

This opening match for Bayern might prove to be the most difficult of the group stage. Barcelona is likely to be their closest rival for the top spot in the group and Bayern has to travel to Camp Nou on Matchday One. If they are able to record all three points on Tuesday, then it’s very hard to see Barcelona being able to defeat them at the Allianz Arena for the reverse fixture. For this reason, a victory against Barcelona on Matchday One might signal another dominant group stage campaign such as what was seen last season when Bayern had their group clinched after just four matchdays.