Champions League: Choupo-Moting demands Lewandowski - Barça threatens

When Oliver Kahn spoke about FC Barcelona and the sudden duel between Choupo and Lewy in the VIP area of ​​Munich Airport, he was not too distracted by the ringing of his mobile phone.

Champions League: Choupo-Moting demands Lewandowski - Barça threatens

When Oliver Kahn spoke about FC Barcelona and the sudden duel between Choupo and Lewy in the VIP area of ​​Munich Airport, he was not too distracted by the ringing of his mobile phone.

The head of the German record champions is looking forward to a "big game" on Wednesday (9 p.m. / DAZN) at the Camp Nou and, after making it into the Champions League round of 16, he focused on the next goal - winning the group. "We have nothing to give away in Barcelona. The team wants to stay in this flow," he said about continuing the winning streak that had started.

This is also what coach Julian Nagelsmann demands. "If you want to play for the Champions League title, you shouldn't allow yourself too many weaknesses," said the Munich coach on Tuesday evening in Barcelona. "It's always about sending a signal both internally and externally. Tomorrow is another chance to send a signal."

"Robert is now with FC Barcelona. Basta!"

The next reunion with Lewandowski just a few weeks after the 2-0 first-leg win in Munich, Kahn touched verbally only briefly. "Robert is now at FC Barcelona and has to concentrate on the task there," remarked the Bayern boss. Basta! Kahn was all the more happy to talk about the man who is making sure that the topic of center forwards after the loss of Lewandowski no longer causes the Munich bosses and Nagelsmann to explain: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

The sudden assembly line goalscorer chatted laughingly with his teammates during the warm-up program of the final training session, which was completed in Munich. The situation seems strange: Ironically, the former Lewandowski substitute could shoot the long-time Bayern superstar from the premier class.

"He's cold as ice in front of goal," praised Kahn, adding that Choupo-Moting's performance explosion was "not as big a surprise" to him as it was to others. Reason: "When he has played in the past - even in the days of Robert Lewandowski - he has always performed well and scored his goals. He now shows that you can rely on him." Also in Barcelona?

Normally, it is already clear at the start that Lewandowski will have to leave his favorite Champions League stage with Barça after the group stage. If Inter Milan wins the home game against Viktoria Pilsen, which takes place at 6.45 p.m., Bayern will need a three-pointer for the returnee Barcelona expert Thomas Müller (eight goals in eight games against Barça) to secure the group win they are aiming for. And Lewandowski would have been eliminated and would have to be relegated to the Europa League with the Catalan ensemble, which was pimped up for around 150 million euros in the summer.

Bayern's defense chief Matthijs de Ligt expects a "big game", as he emphasized the night before in the team hotel. "I think it's very important that we finish first in our group - and for that we have to win."

Kahn: "It has to catch one"

Kahn emphasized that this scenario and Lewandowski's exit would mean "certainly no satisfaction" for him. "It's the strongest group. It has to get one," noted Kahn.

After four goals in the last three competitive games, Kahn sees no pressure to talk about a new contract with the 33-year-old Choupo-Moting early on. The current one ends after the season. "When the time comes, we'll sit down together. It's still very early," said Kahn.

Choupo-Moting, who came on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in October 2020, can advertise himself with more goals and assists. "There's no real secret. We all train very well, I really get into every training session. I trust in my qualities," said the former teammate of PSG greats like Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, explaining his impressive October run.

Barcelona with their backs to the wall

Lewandowski, who moved to Barcelona for at least 45 million euros after a big summer theater, also scores a lot for his new top club. There are twelve in the league, five in Europe's best class. But the season for the world footballer is not going according to taste. Most recently, he also had to join the well-wishers when Real striker Karim Benzema was honored with the Ballon d'Or in Paris. The relegation to the Europa League, which could only be avoided by a football miracle, would annoy Poland's World Cup star extremely.

More than 1,000 kilometers away from his previous place of work on Säbener Strasse, Lewandowski's team prepared for what might be their last chance at a pleasant 25 degrees at the same time as the Munich team. "It's clear the team didn't play at their best against Inter and Real Madrid, but there's a lot of room for improvement," said Lewandowski, reflecting on the 3-1 draw with Real and just one point from two games against Milan.

"Barcelona have their backs to the wall in the Champions League and want to come again," said Sven Ulreich, who will again represent Manuel Neuer in goal. The fact that the captain jogged across the training turf again on Tuesday suggests that the number 1's intended return after his forced break due to a shoulder injury on Saturday against Mainz could succeed. "It's a painful story, but it's nothing too serious. He should be ready again soon," said Kahn before boarding the plane to Catalonia.

Expected Lineups:

FC Barcelona: ter Stegen - Sergi Roberto, Koundé, Marcos Alonso, Jordi Alba - Busquets - Gavi, Pedri - Ferran Torres, Lewandowski, Dembelé

FC Bayern München: Ulreich - Pavard, Upamecano, de Ligt, Davies - Goretzka, Kimmich - Gnabry, Müller, Musiala - Choupo-Moting

Referee: Taylor (England)

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