Barcelona face a difficult Champions League road.
The draw for the next phase of the Champions League took place with the teams still left to play the second leg of the first knockout round knowing which sides await them. Unfortunately for Barcelona, they drew the short end of the stick and will face off against Bayern Munich should they get past Napoli.
Bayern Munich are considered the heavy favourites to win the competition given their form since the restart that saw them easily win the Bundesliga. They are on course for a treble with the European Cup the final trophy on that list.
On the other side, Barcelona have been inconsistent throughout their entire league campaign and are on course to see their rivals, Real Madrid, win the league despite the Catalan side coming into the restart with a two-point advantage.
The Champions League is the club’s last chance should they want to win any silverware. But before they can even worry about Bayern, they still have to get through Napoli. It’s something Quique Setien mentioned during his press conference ahead of their match against Real Valladolid.
According to Diario Sport, he said, “I did not have too many expectations placed on the draw. I think the important thing is to focus on Napoli, that’s the key, we know that we’re playing at home, something that I think is fair.”
Bayern also have a game pending against Chelsea but their advancement is all but assured as they won the first leg of that tie 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.
The last time Barça met Bayern was back in the 2014-15 semifinals where, under Luis Enrique, the Catalan side got past them by a 5-3 aggregate. They also faced off in the 2012-13 edition with Bayern winning 7-0 on aggregate.
As mentioned, the Bavarian side are on course for a treble and will be more than motivated to win the Champions League.
It will be another test for Barcelona to see where they stack up against the best in Europe or see how far they’ve fallen. The last two seasons have ended in humiliating fashion for Lionel Messi and his team and this edition is not shaping up to end any differently.
The rest of the draw sees the winner of the Real Madrid-Manchester City tie take on either Juventus or Lyon. RB Leipzig will take on Atletico Madrid and Atalanta is set to face PSG.
For those that still have a game pending, those matches will take place in their respective home stadiums. The remainder of the tournament, starting with the quarterfinals, will all be just one game and will be held in Lisbon.