BARCELONA // A wounded Bayern Munich beast will be on the prowl in Barcelona tonight. The Catalans entertain the German side at the Camp Nou in their Champions League quarter-final first leg, with Bayern reeling from a 5-1 weekend defeat by the new Bundesliga leaders VfL Wolfsburg. Bayern are smarting, yet if there is one team in Europe capable of shredding their defence as Wolsburg did on Saturday with four goals in 14 second half minutes, then it is Pep Guardiola's side.
Barca annihilated Lyon with four quick goals at home in the last round and have hit four teams for six goals in the league so far this season, but the coach Guardiola is, publicly at least, urging caution. "League form has nothing to do with the Champions League, but in my opinion Bayern's defeat is the worst possible result for us," Guardiola said. "Bayern have won the European Cup four times and have won their domestic league many times, and they will arrive with even greater motivation."
Barca eliminated German opponents Shalke 04 at the same stage last season and they were able to rest Thierry Henry and use Lionel Messi and Daniel Alves as substitutes in Saturday's vital 1-0 win at Valladolid which kept them six points clear of Real Madrid with eight league games to play. With Barca facing a potential 16 games in two months as they go for three trophies, their players have appreciated four days without a game or travel after last week's international exertions.
The midfielder Yaya Toure is a doubt but captain Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta are fit again for the clash which has seen more than 90,000 tickets sold, including 7,000 to travelling Bayern fans. Bayern coach Jurgen Klinsmann claims his side "are not afraid of Barcelona" but asked for "greater sacrifice and determination" following the Wolfsburg debacle. Klinsmann will be able to call on fit again Hamit Altintop and striker Luca Toni as the Bavarians seek to maintain their undefeated record in the Champions League this season, but striker Miroslav Klose and central defender Lucio will be absent.
"The players know that the whole world will be watching and they will want to show what they can do," added Klinsmann, who is desperate for a big improvement from his charges. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Barcelona v Bayern, ART Sport 3 & ART Prime Sport, KO 10.45pm