Football fans will be spoilt for choices on Tuesday night with two big matches in the UEFA Champions League:
Arsenal versus Barcelona and Bayern Munich versus Juventus.
Arsenal will welcome a Barcelona side that has no match in any competition. TArsenal is doing well in the English Premier League, just behind table leaders Leicester. They rested a couple of key players for Saturday&’s FA Cup draw with Hull City to ensure that they remain fresh for this crucial European fixture.
But Barcelona are running away in the La Liga, nine points clear in the standings.
The front three of Barca, comprising Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, is arguably the most effective in the club&’s history, scoring goals in every game. They also have quality players in every position, to support their stellar forwards.
Arsenal has a few players of their own, with Alexis Sanchez facing his old employers; he will undoubtedly have a point to prove. Mesut Ozil has been irresistible at times this season, and will want to prove that he can perform in the big games.
Arsene Wenger has never won the Champions League; the 2006 final against Barcelona was the closest he came. He will be looking forward to make amends for that loss.
Luis Enrique&’s side is set to be the first team to retain the Champions League in its current format. But will the team from North London throw a spanner in the works?
In the other big game, Juventus will host a Bayern Munich which is currently in pole position to win the Bundesliga.
Juventus had a miserable start in the Serie A, before going on an incredible 15-game winning spree which saw them reclaim the top spot. They managed to rest a couple of big names in Friday night&’s draw at Bologna.
Paul Pogba and Pablo Dybala have so far combined to devastating effect, and will be the Italian side&’s main force.
On the other hand,Bayern played its full strength in the comeback win over Darmstadt on Saturday.
The Bavarians have a side full of world-class stars, with Douglas Costa, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller the main powerhouses.
Pep Guardiola will be desperate to win the Champions League in his final season as the Bayern manager, playing his distinct style of constant possession throughout.
Bayern is normally the favourite, no matter which side is the opposition. Still, with Juventus having a full squad at its disposal, and Bayern&’s top defenders all missing due to injury, this will be an extremely open match.
Arturo Vidal returns to play at the Juventus Stadium for the first time since his move to Munich. He became a household name at Juve, and will hope for a good reception from the fans.
Manuel Neuer and Gianluigi Buffon are two goalkeepers guaranteed to go down in the hall of fame, and both will be extremely busy on Tuesday night.