Bayern Munich vs Barcelona predictions: Lewa can nick point on return
One of the biggest matches in the group stage of this season's Champions League takes place at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday as German juggernauts Bayern Munich host an improving Barcelona.
Both sides began their Champions League campaigns strongly with Barca asserting their authority over Viktoria Plzen in a 5-1 win and Bayern prevailing 2-0 away to Inter Milan.
Having won eight Bundesliga titles and the 2019-20 Champions League with the German giants, Robert Lewandowski returns to the Allianz Arena for the first time since moving to Spain over the summer.
Hosts Bayern are expected to start with Lewandowski's replacement Sadio Mane up top but Kingsley Coman is sidelined and defender Bouna Sarr is a doubt.
As for Barcelona, they have no major injuries or suspensions but Sergi Roberto is a doubt with a hamstring problem.
Bayern have dominated their European rivals in recent seasons, winning each of their last four meetings against the Catalan giants, including an 8-2 thrashing in August 2020.
But Barca look back to their best under Xavi, having won their last five competitive fixtures by an aggregate scoreline of 20-2.
And Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann could be feeling the pressure given his side have been held to draws in each of their last three Bundesliga assignments.
Barcelona steered five goals past Viktoria Plzen to kick off their Champions League campaign last week and make it clear that this is a team getting back to their very best.
Of course, their opponents were not the strongest but it was a polished performance from Barca, who have also recorded comfortable away wins against Real Sociedad and Sevilla this season.
In former Bayern marksman Lewandowski, they have a forward who can strike fear into defences in the same way Lionel Messi once did and it seems the players around the Pole are thriving as a result.
Ferran Torres, Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha and Ansu Fati are all excellent options to flank Lewandowski, while Pedri and Gavi bring life to the midfield and their defence have kept three straight clean sheets in LaLiga.
Everything is coming together for a club which looked on the brink of collapse in the summer as a result of financial issues and Bayern have been billed as their first testing opponents of the season.
But the Bavarians are not having a brilliant time of it right now, having been held to stalemates by Borussia Monchengladbach, Union Berlin and Stuttgart in their last three games and they are unlikely to wipe the floor with Barca in the way they have done in recent seasons.
Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has indeed claimed the team must improve after the draw with Stuttgart and it will not take long for pressure to mount on head coach Nagelsmann given their sky-high standards.
They may not have things all their own way against improving Barca, who could take at least a point from their contest at the Allianz Arena.