Champions League

Barca paying close attention to details

2015-05-04 11:00
Javier Mascherano. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Getty
Javier Mascherano. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images.

Barcelona - Pep Guardiola, the former player who coached Barcelona to 14 titles including two European Cups, makes his highly anticipated return to Camp Nou on Wednesday at the helm of new club Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinals.

Many Barcelona fans will have mixed feelings Wednesday night when the man hailed as the club's greatest coach will now be scheming to derail its quest for a treble from the opponents' dugout.

Guardiola won six titles in a glorious first season at Barcelona and 14 of a possible 19 titles from 2008-2012, before he stunned club and fans alike by leaving. Last week, Bayern clinched its second consecutive Bundesliga crown under the Catalan.

First-year coach Luis Enrique has Barcelona back to playing its most dominant football since Guardiola's departure.

Barcelona's trio of attacking stars in Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez have combined for 108 goals this season as Barcelona leads the Spanish league with three games to play and has also reached the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao.

"Details. In series as evenly matched as this one, the details will determine who gets the advantage," Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano said about Bayern.

Bayern slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, but at least avoided any further injuries.

Arjen Robben is out for the rest of the season and Robert Lewandowski is doubtful after suffering a concussion and facial fractures in last week's loss to Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup. Franck Ribery is still nursing an ankle injury he sustained in March.

Former Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara is back from injury and will also make his return to Camp Nou.


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