Barcelona fight for their Champions League lives on Wednesday when they visit already-qualified Bayern Munich on Matchday 6. Bayern have won the group easily and can afford to play a squad of backups, while Barca have work to do. Xavi’s team will advance to the round of 16 with a win, while they will automatically qualify if Benfica fail to beat Dynamo Kiev. Here are storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Wednesday, Dec. 8 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
- Location: Allianz Arena — Munich, Germany
- TV and live stream: Paramount+.
- Odds: Bayern -155; Draw +370; Barca +330 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Bayern: They can afford to rotate their team, not risk injury, and the result won’t matter. I expect some key players to compete in order to have some type of fluidity and familiarity in the lineup, but it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Robert Lewandowski on the bench. Barcelona will be hoping he doesn’t play as the Bavarians have won their last three against the Spanish side. Expect a weakened Bayern team to still look like the better squad against a desperate side under serious pressure.
Barca: It’s a new era with Xavi as coach, but can he help this team deliver in UCL after such uninspiring performances in La Liga? There is a renewed belief in the team, but it’s the same, often-injured squad that doesn’t seem ready to compete. Even getting a point at Bayern, with the hosts playing backups, seems like a massive challenge for a team lacking cohesion and quality. This could be the turning point in their season or just another game tacked on to the list of disappointments.
Bayern can rest key players and still top Barca, and in the end they do it, bouncing the Catalan club from the competition. Pick: Bayern 2, Barca 1.