MUNICH - Barcelona coach Xavi Hernández laughed off the notion that playing at Bayern Munich is like visiting the "house of horrors" ahead of Tuesday's mouthwatering Champions League Group C clash.
They met in last season's group stage, with the Germans twice winning 3-0, although Barça are now a very different side and spearheaded by striker Robert Lewandowski, who moved to the Nou Camp from the Bavarians in the close season.
Barcelona have never won at Bayern, who have triumphed in the last four meetings between the clubs with an overall score of 17-4, including an 8-2 thrashing in the 2020 quarterfinals. While Xavi acknowledged the task in front of Barça is daunting, he said his side should have no fear going to Munich.
"I wouldn't call it the house of horrors — it's just Bayern's ground," Xavi said. "I've seen both sides of the coin, beating them heavily and losing heavily against them, but we have never won at the Allianz and this speaks of how difficult a place it is to go and the task at hand, but we're optimistic. We can't be over-confident just because we've had good results lately. We need to remember what it was like playing against them last year, but I'll be happy if we play to our potential and if we do that then I think we can win and change history."
2021: Barcelona vs. Bayern at the Allianz
2020: Barcelona vs. Bayern quarterfinal
The Spaniard has a fully-fit squad for the game against Julian Nagelsmann's side and is expected to recall Jules Koundé, Eric García, Pedri, Ousmane Dembélé and Lewandowski, who all started on the bench in Saturday's 4-0 win at Cádiz.
(Reporting by Joseph Walker; Editing by Ken Ferris)