24th of April 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Two of Europe's giants will clash at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Wednesday in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final as Bundesliga champions Bayern host defending LaLiga champions Real Madrid. Last season these two sides met in the quarter-finals of the competition and it was a thriller: Real won 2-1 in Munich, then Bayern won 2-1 in Madrid but eventually Real won the second leg 4-2 after extra time. The head-to-head record between these two teams is perfectly balanced at the moment: 11 wins apiece and just 2 draws.
Bayern Munich are still dominating German football, they have secured yet another Bundesliga title with several matches to spare and can afford to focus fully on the Champions League now. They had a pretty tough time against Sevilla in the previous round but eventually pulled through thanks to the 2-1 away victory that they recorded in the first leg. Robert Lewandowski, Franck Ribery, Thomas Muller, Javi Martinez, Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels and David Alaba were all rested at the weekend as Bayern won 3-0 at Hannover, so they will be fully fit for Wednesday's match. However, Kingsley Coman, Arturo Vidal and Manuel Neuer remain sidelined.
Real Madrid didn't have the best of seasons but they can still salvage it if they win the UEFA Champions League again. They have failed to reach the final of the Spanish Cup, while the LaLiga title is firmly in Barcelona's hands, so Cristiano Ronaldo and his team-mates can use the league matches as training sessions for the Champions League games. Last weekend Real didn't have any fixtures, so the whole team will be well-rested. Nacho is the only fitness concern for head coach Zinedine Zidane, while Sergio Ramos is available again after having served his suspension.
Bayern: Ulreich - Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba - Rodriguez, Martinez, Alcantara - Muller, Lewandowski, Ribery
Real: Navas - Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo - Modric, Casemiro, Kroos - Isco - Ronaldo, Benzema
My prediction: 1-1 draw.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Bayern win - 2.00
Draw - 3.75
Real win - 3.79
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To be honest, expected that score.
Don't think Bayern has enough class on the pitch at the moment, the team is became a bit ageing these days, especially upfront and it was clear that Ribery barely standing on his feet in the last 15-20 minutes of the game.
A bit unlucky, some injuries for Bayern too but as a whole they didn't play the football which should get Real in troubles, way too slow passing.
And despite Juventus completely outplayed Real on their ground previously I don't expect Bayern to do the same, for me Real will past the semis with ease.
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