Bayern are Champions League favourites, admits Martino

The Barcelona coach has singled out the holders as the team to beat, while he expects a difficult game against Real Sociedad in La Liga

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino says Bayern Munich are the favourites to win the Champions League this season following their fine performances in the past few months.

Bayern skipper Philipp Lahm already stated earlier this week that the Catalans are no longer the team to beat in Europe and Martino has conceded that the Bundesliga champions are the new benchmark.

Both Barcelona and Bayern recorded a 2-0 away win in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 ties against Manchester City and Arsenal respectively.

“Bayern are one of the main candidates to win the Champions League, perhaps even the top favourites,” Martino said at a press conference.

“They are the reigning champions and have been superb in the Bundesliga and in Europe again this season.”

Martino then looked ahead to this weekend’s Liga game away against Real Sociedad and stressed that he expects a different type of game to the one they had in the Copa del Rey, where Barca secured their passage to the final with a 3-1 aggregate win.

“I think that it will be an entirely diffent game than the recent Copa clash. Both teams need the full three points.

“I will make a few changes to the starting XI, but there will not be any radical changes.”

The Argentine coach was also questioned about his future at the club, but insists he is focused on this season for now.

“We will see whether I will stay. I did not talk about it yet with the club. We are focused on this season for now.,” he continued.

“If it all goes according to plan we will still have 21 more games and that is all we care about at the moment.”

Barcelona will be without the injured Jordi Alba against Real, while Carles Puyol, Ibrahim Afellay and Sergi Roberto have also been left out of the squad.

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