Barca’s do-or-die quest aided by a weakened Bayern
Just over a month into the job, Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has a do-or-die mission - the Catalan giants are at risk of missing the Champions League knockout stage for the first time in two decades.
Last month's 0-0 draw at home to Benfica left Barca with their destiny in their own hands, but they now have to beat Group E winners Bayern Munich away tomorrow morning (Singapore time) to seal their last-16 spot.
Barca, who are on seven points, will also advance with a draw if Benfica, who have five points, fail to beat last-placed Dynamo Kiev.
After last Saturday's 1-0 loss to Real Betis - Xavi's first defeat as Barca coach - he said: "It's a shame and I hope it doesn't affect us because on Wednesday we have to compete like animals to try to get through."
Bayern might yet aid Barca's cause as they will be without half a dozen players.
Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry are nursing minor injures, while forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is still feeling the effects of Covid-19.
Joshua Kimmich, out for four weeks after being quarantined twice due to Covid-19, Michael Cuisance and Marcel Sabitzer are not yet fit. - AFP