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Bad times ahead: Inexperienced starting XI shows how Barcelona have got worse since 8-2 defeat to Bayern

FC Barcelona has lost Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Miralem Pjanic, and Luis Suarez since the last time they faced Bayern Munich. Their inexperienced first 11 means that things could get worse for the Blaugrana.

Bad times ahead: Inexperienced starting XI shows how Barcelona have got worse since 8-2 defeat to Bayern

Spanish giants,  FC Barcelona slumped to another home defeat to German champions, Bayern Munich in the Matchday 1 fixture of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League season. Welcoming the Bavarians to the Camp Nou for the first time since the 8-2 bashing in Lisbon, Barcelona could not come up with answers to Julian Nagelsmann's Munich side. Led by the prolific Polish striker, Robert Lewandowski,  Bayern Munich strolled to a 3-0 victory against the Catalan side courtesy of goals from Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski (2).

When Quique Setien's Barcelona side lost to Bayern Munich by 8-2, it was thought to be the lowest the club could go. But the Blaugrana would be shocked when weeks later, legendary Barcelona player, Lionel Messi, revealed that he has put in a transfer request and wants to leave the club. After back and forth in the media, the Argentine chose to stay. His presence was temporary though, as the 5-time Ballon d'Or winner moved to Paris Saint-Germain this summer on a free transfer. Since then, the Barcelona team has got worse with star signing Antoine Griezmann departing too, amidst several other first-team players. On the other hand, Bayern Munich has even improved since that demolition of Barcelona, adding quality players to an already dominant team.

The starting eleven for Barcelona during the 8-2 debacle in Lisbon were Marc Andre ter Stergen, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, and Jordi Alba in defence. Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Arturo Vidal formed the midfield quartet while Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez played upfront. Barcelona has lost some much-needed experience with the departure of some of their players. The current starting 11 includes ter Stergen, Sergi Roberto, Araujo, Pique, Garcia, and Alba forming a back 5. Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri are entrusted with midfield duties. Memphis Depay and Luuk de Jong led the line. This is a marked downgrade in quality and experience from the 2020 squad which had Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Arturo Vidal. 

The German side, Bayern Munich have on their part strengthened their squad despite having gone on to win that 2020 UEFA Champions League trophy. In Hansi Flick's starting 11 of 2020, Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba and Alphonso Davies were the defenders. In 2021, David Alaba, Joshua Kimmich and Jerome Boateng have been replaced by the younger trio of Niklas Sule, Benjamin Pavard, and Dayot Upamecano. Goretzka,  Kimmich, Sane, Muller and Musiala have moved into midfielder replacing the 2020 team of Goretzka, Thiago, Gnabry, Muller, and Perisic. In both teams, Robert Lewandowski has maintained his striking position due to the outrageous amount of goals he scores. 

Thus, it can be concluded that Bayern Munich has significantly improved their squad since winning the title in 2020 while FC Barcelona has been decimated by departures, actually having a weakened and inexperienced team. After Tuesday's 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich, it can be concluded that the worst is yet to come for FC Barcelona.

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