Bayern Munich v Real Madrid Preview

UEFA Champions League | Tuesday 29 April | Allianz-Arena | 20:45




The UEFA Champions League returns with an epic fixture between two of the best teams in the world in a hotly contested second leg semi-final at the Allianz Arena.

Both sides already have silverware in the cabinet with Real having captured the Copa del Rey trophy while Bayern were confirmed Bundesliga champions at the end of March with a record seven games to spare.

To Win (90mins)
Bayern 7/10 
Draw 28/10 
Real 34/10

BAYERN MUNICH

Bayern romped to a 5-2 win at home to Werder Bremen in Saturday’s dress rehearsal for Real, but worryingly for the Bavarians it was the seventh time in their last nine games they have conceded the first goal.

The Bundesliga champions are on course for five trophies in Guardiola's maiden season after winning the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, while they battle Borussia Dortmund in the final of the DFB-Pokal.

Bayern have suffered just four home defeats since the start of last season, with Manchester City and Arsenal the only Champions League teams to taste success at the Allianz Arena in that period.

When Bayern are in high gear, they are relentless and ruthless, but they might have to ‘settle’ for being more efficient and opportunistic if it produces the desired result.

They didn’t excel in such an endeavour against Madrid last Wednesday, holding an edge in possession but failing to make anything of it.

They will need to be at their best against a deadly Madrid side aiming to win the UEFA Champions League for the 10th time, more than any club.

Mario Mandzukic is the most potent player in the Bayern squad in front of goal. He is renowned for his ability to sneak past defenders and create space for himself.

His mobile play and diagonal movement is a nightmare for defenders which makes it literally impossible to man mark him.

Defender Rafinha is available for Bayern after serving a domestic suspension at the weekend but, while Thiago Alcantara has returned to training.

Bayern have been touted as favourites to retain the trophy throughout the tournament, and Guardiola will be adamant the five-time champions can overturn the first-leg deficit.

REAL MADRID

Real maintained their positive momentum after beating Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final and Bayern in last week’s first leg with a comfortable 4-0 win over Osasuna to stay in the title race.

Cristiano Ronaldo showed no ill effects from the hamstring injury which has blighted him in recent weeks with two wonderful goals to take his tally for the season to 47.

Going into the second leg, Real Madrid clearly have an advantage as they have prevented Bayern from securing any away goal and have an opportunity for them to score one.

If there is one Real Madrid player more than any other who will be eager to play well at Bayern Munich it is defender Sergio Ramos.

Ramos, who has lifted several trophies with Madrid and the World Cup with Spain, suffered perhaps his lowest moment as a football player when he missed a spot kick in a penalty shootout against Bayern two years ago at the same stage in the competition.

He will be more focused this time around and will look to put in a solid performance.

Gareth Bale will be passed fit to start in the Allianz Arena, having suffered with a bout of flu in recent days. Should the Welsh international feature from the beginning, it is likely to come at the expense of Isco.

Iker Casillas will continue to deputise between the posts in the Champions League instead of Diego Lopez, while Fabio Coentrao may start at left-back ahead of Marcelo because the Brazilian has only recently returned to action following a month on the sidelines with a hamstring complaint.

Karim Benzema scored the only goal of the game in the first leg in Madrid, giving Carlo Ancelotti's side a precious advantage, but despite that, they will be wary of a Bayern side that has been imperious for much of the campaign under former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola.

Betting Prediction: REAL MADRID 34/10
The current circumstances place Real Madrid in the position of winning the tie and I would not differ from that. The failure of Bayern to secure an away goal might prove them costly. Real Madrid have been in red hot form and are tipped to book their place in the final with a victory at the Allianz Arena with odds of 34/10.

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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