Next Tuesday, April 29, 2014 (11:45 AM Pacific), Real Madrid will travel to the Allianz Arena to take on the current Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, for the semi-finals’ second leg of the UEFA Champions League on a match that will decide who will be the first team to be in the Lisbon final next month.
After last week’s defeat at Santiago Bernabéu, it will now be interesting to see how Bayern Munich will react to the 1-0 disadvantage and to an eventual more defensive Real Madrid side that will certainly try to “execute” the Bavarian team with quick and deadly counter-attack movements.
Last weekend, they experienced some unexpected difficulties at home to defeat a bold Werder Bremen that went to the break winning by 2-1. Bayern managed to bounce back in the second half thanks to an inspired Claudio Pizarro, who put the Bavarian side back in the match with two goals in just five minutes.
Pep Guardiola recently claimed that Bayern put up their best performance this season on the last match against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabéu. The Bundesliga side made, in fact, a good display but their aspirations crashed by the hand of an outstanding Iker Casillas, as Los Blancos’ captain put up a vintage performance and defrauded all the Bavarian efforts to get back into the match.
After being coronated Bundesliga champions, Bayern Munich have somewhat lost the steam that had been driven them throughout the season and that “loss” has also influenced their performances at the UEFA Champions League.
For next Tuesday’s clash, Pep Guardiola will still not be able to rely on the German goalkeeper Tom Starke, on the skilled midfielders Xherdan Shaqiri, and Thiago Alcantâra all of them sidelined because of injury.
As for Real Madrid, the Blancos will surely approach next Tuesday’s match with plenty more caution than they did last week at Bernabéu. Carlo Ancelotti has proven several times this season that he can organized Real Madrid into several different tactical styles and he might have to do it again for next Tuesday’s clash at the Allianz Arena.
Los Blancos hammered Osasuna at La Liga last weekend 4-0, with two superb goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his first appearance after being injured against the Pamplona side last Saturday.
For the clash against Bayern, the Italian manager will still not be able to count on the German midfielder Sami Khedira, who is not yet fully fit after his long term injury, and on Jesé Rodriguez and Arbeloa, who will miss the rest of the season because of injury.
After last week’s win, one might claim that Real Madrid have a slight advantage for the second leg match next Tuesday, although, and judging by Los Blancos’ recent performance at German territory against Borussia Dortmund, it is also fair to say that Bayern Munich still have a word to say and that an early goal from Pep Guardiola’s side could prove to be catastrophic for the Spanish side. This being said, the most likely outcome is 2-1 for Bayern Munich.
Bayern Munich (4-1-4-1) – Neuer, Lahm, Dante, Boateng, Alaba, Javi Martinez, Kroos, Schweinsteiger, Ribéry, Robben, Müller
Real Madrid (4-3-3) – Casillas – Carvajal – Pepe – Sergio Ramos – Coentrão – Modric – Xabi Alonso – Bale – Di Maria – Ronaldo – Benzema
Referee: Pedro Proença
Venue: Allianz Arena
TV Info: Fox Sports 1 USA (11:45 AM Pacific)