The Munich Final: Xavi’s Biggest Test So Far

After losing to Real Betis in the Spanish La Liga on matchday 16, the Blaugrana are looking forward to playing Bayern Munich on matchday 6 of the UEFA Champions League. In their UEFA Champions League 2020/2021 opener against the German behemoth, the Blaugrana lost 3 goals to nil.

In the UEFA Champions League this season, Barcelona has won two games, drawn one, and lost two, While Julian Nagelsmann’s team won 5 of their 5 UCL matches this season. Moreover, In 10 matches with Bayern Munich, Barcelona has won two, drawn one, and lost seven occasions. The German powerhouse has the upper hand in comparison to Barcelona.

Even though Barcelona will be without Ansu Fati, Pedri Gonzalez, Sergio Kun Aguero, Martin Braithwaite, and other vital players when they face Bayern Munich, they are confident in their ability to win in Munich.
“We want vengeance on Bayern Munich, and we’ll do everything we can to get it,” he said. “Barcelona must always be in the Champions League.” Memphis said in an interview.
Coach Xavi added, “I envision Barca coming to Munich and winning.”
As a player, Xavi faced Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena five times, drawing one and losing four times, but never defeating them. He hopes to perform it as a coach tonight.

Barcelona is in second place with 7 points and a -4 goal difference, while Bayern Munich is in first place with 15 points and a +16 goal difference, and has already qualified for the Champions League.

Rotation Time

Bayern Munich will make some alterations to their starting lineup against the Blaugrana, according to multiple sources. Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Choupo-Mouting, Marcel Sabitzer, and Michael Cuisance will not face the Catalan powerhouse, according to Julian Nagelsmann.

Young players such as Gavi, Eric Garcia, and others may be called upon to face Julian Nagelsmmann’s squad.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Xavi has laid out his strategy for defeating Bayern Munich. Xavi wants his squad to focus on building play from the back with fast, accurate forward passes to assist launch attacking plays while avoiding ceding possession in potentially dangerous situations when Bayern exerts pressure.

Tactical Approach

Xavi wants his team to be ready to commit tactical fouls to hinder Bayern’s counter-attacks, according to the source. Bayern has a devastating pace on the counter and might cause Barcelona problems in these scenarios. He also instructed his players to be more aggressive in the final third. Moreover, to take more risks with their final passes to create more quality goal-scoring opportunities, as he has previously stated.

Simultaneously, he wants his players, some of whom have a reputation for being trigger-happy, to feel free to go for goal.

To put pressure on their opponents, the Blaugrana coach has told his centre midfielders, particularly Frenkie de Jong. The Dutch will push forward and take up higher positions on the pitch. Simultaneously, a stronger emphasis will be on creating a goal threat from set-piece situations. This will allow players like Ronald Araujo and Gerard Pique to use their strength to their advantage.

Xavi believes Ousmane Dembele can beat opponents with his speed and ball skills. The Frenchman will be encouraged to go behind the defense and score by cutting inside from the wings.

Finally, the Barcelona coach wants his team to focus on Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller. This season, the Polish striker has 27 goals in all competitions. Due to his speed and ability to create space for his teammates, he poses a significant threat to his opponents. The capacity of Barca to neutralize them will decide its success.

The Catalan giant will receive €9.6 million if they advance past the Round of 16, with a further €10.6 million if they reach the Quarter-Finals, for a total of €20.2 million.

Will Xavi win one of the most important games of his coaching career?

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