Bayern Munich will host Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena in the Uefa Champions League first leg Semi-Final clash on Wednesday. It promises to be an intriguing encounter as the experienced coach Jupp Heynckes goes against the quintessential Zinedine Zidane with both in search of European glory.
The Los Blancos are aiming to claim a record third successive European Champions league trophy after overcoming a resilient and memorable fightback from Juventus during the quarter-finals.
The Bavarians coach Jupp Heynckes is someone who has enjoyed remarkable success in the Champions League, Heynckes will be taking part in his fourth campaign in the Champions League and the German tactician has remarkably managed to lead his teams to the final on the three previous occasions. Twice with Bayern and once with Madrid.
Jupp Heynckes just has a way of making things happen in the Champions League, before Bayern’s quarter-final second leg goalless draw at home to Sevilla, the Monchengladbach-born tactician had won twelve straight Champions League games. Heynckes has won the Champions League title with both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in the past.
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Wednesday’s Champions League encounter will be the 24th European meeting between both teams, making this fixture the most played out contest in any Uefa club competition. The Los Blancos and the Bavarians share similar head to head records in European Cup meetings with eleven wins and two draws each.
Real Madrid is hoping to become the first team to win three consecutive Champions League silverware, after becoming the first team to successfully defend a European Champions League trophy last season when they defeated the Italian team Juventus in the final played in Cardiff.
The Los Blancos have had the privilege of playing stronger opponents in the knockout stages, they squared up against Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus and those tough battles might give them a slight edge going into Wednesday’s game against Bayern at the Allianz Arena.
Jupp Heynckes will be without the following players Kingsley Coman, Arturo Vidal and Manuel Neuer as they have all been ruled out with various injuries. Bayern played with a heavily rotated team in the Bundesliga at the weekend.
Team’s top striker Robert Lewandowski will make a return to the starting XI, also other first-team regulars like Franck Ribery, Thomas Muller and Javi Martinez should all make a return to the starting lineup after they were all rested at the weekend. David Alaba, Jerome Boateng and Joshua Kimmich are also set to take their places in the Bavarian defensive set up.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, did not play any league game at the weekend and will come into the encounter with all his players fully rested. Sergio Ramos should slot back into defence after missing out in the second game against Juventus through suspension.
Karim Benzema has been finding it difficult to score goals in recent times and might be replaced in the attack by Gareth Bale. Isco will likely start ahead of Marco Asensio, while Nacho remains Zidane’s only real injury concern.
Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Bayern Munich 4-3-3 formation: Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Rodriguez, Martinez, Alcantara; Muller, Lewandowski, Ribery
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Real Madrid 4-3-1-2 formation: Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco; Benzema, Ronaldo
- This will be the third time since 2011/12 that Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have faced each other in the Champions League semi-finals, with the Germans progressing in 2011/12 and the Spaniards in 2013/14.
- Bayern Munich has lost each of their last five games against Real Madrid in the Champions League, with all five of those coming in the knockout rounds (three in the semi-finals and two in the quarter-finals).
- Of all the managers to have taken charge of at least 20 games in the Champions League, this match features two of the top three managers in terms of win percentage – Jupp Heynckes (71%) and Zinedine Zidane (67%). Only Luis Enrique (73%) has a higher win ratio in the competition.
- Zidane has lost just one of his six combined Champions League games against Bayern as a player (P4 W2 D1 L1) and a manager (P2 W2), with that only defeat coming back in April 2002 at the Olympiastadion (1-2).
- Cristiano Ronaldo has netted at least one goal in each of his last 11 games in the Champions League (17 in total); the longest scoring streak in competition history.
Bayern Munich is unbeaten at home this season and has scored at least five goals in five of their last eight matches at the Allianz Arena. The Germans have had the easier route to the Semi-Finals, but they also have a coach with a proven track record in the Uefa Champions League competition.
Real Madrid has won remarkable back-to-back titles in the Champions League and will fancy their chances of a third consecutive title given the incredible form of Ronaldo. The Portuguese striker has scored seven goals in his last three games against Bayern. However, our prediction is Bayern Munich to win this game by 3-2.