The Bayern Munich boss spent four years at Camp Nou, which is precisely why the attacker feels that nobody knows the Liga leaders better than the Catalan coach
Thomas Muller is in no doubt that Pep Guardiola will provide Bayern Munich with the perfect recipe for beating Barcelona.
The Catalans have been in excellent form since the turn of the year, overhauling Real Madrid at the top of La Liga as well as knocking both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain out of Europe.
However, Muller takes great heart from the fact that Bayern are coached by Guardiola, who won 14 trophies in four seasons at Camp Nou between 2008 and 2012.
“We know that Barcelona are one of the best teams in the world,” he told his club’s official website. “They have knocked out two huge teams in the Champions League.
“But I am optimistic. I’m confident in the team – we want to win there.
“We know their potential. They have a great squad and covering [Lionel] Messi as a defender is not comfortable.
“But we are preparing well. The coach knows Barcelona better than anyone.
“He will give us the recipe in our hands; the rest we need to do as players.”
Bayern go into the game shorn of the services of a number of key figures through injury, including star winger Arjen Robben, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
However, the fact that the Bavarians are in the unusual position of being underdogs going into the game does not ease the tension surrounding the trip to Catalunya, as far as Muller is concerned.
“We have pressure, regardless,” the Germany international stated. “If we are knocked out neither the fans or the press say ‘Well, it was Barcelona and that’s that.’
“No, everyone has expectations. We are Bayern and we will not hide.”
Indeed, Muller pointed out that the last time the two sides met in the Champions League, in the semi-finals of the 2012-13 campaign, Bayern routed Barca 7-0 on aggregate.
“It was a great experience which means we can jump to the Camp Nou with positive feelings,” the attacking midfielder added.
“We played brilliantly and amazed everyone in the football world.”