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Real Madrid v Bayern Munich UEFA Champions League Semi-Final Match Preview and Predictions - Real to stay on course for three straight Champions League crowns

Rippa Staff 30 Apr 2018
  • Real Madrid v Bayern Munich kicks off at 04:45 AEST on Wednesday, May 2

Real Madrid took a big step towards another Champions League Final with a first-leg win at the Allianz Arena – will they now complete the job when they host Bayern Munich at the Bernabeu?

Prediction



Match Preview


Real Madrid are in pole position as these two giants of European football prepare to go head-to-head in the semi-final second-leg on Tuesday night.

Prior to last week’s first-leg meeting, Bayern Munich had not tasted a competitive defeat at the Allianz Arena this season, and they appeared to take the first step towards another positive home outing when Joshua Kimmich rifled in the opener just before the half-an-hour mark. However, Marcelo hauled Real back into the tie when he volleyed home just before half-time, and they then took command of this two-legged semi-final tie just before the hour when Marco Asensio helped himself to what proved to be the winning goal.

So not only do Real Madrid have a one-goal advantage as the two sides prepare to lock horns at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night, they also have two away goals in the bag and, as we have seen already this season, that could prove to be a decisive factor in how this tie unfolds. Bayern know they must score at least two goals to have any hope of snatching a place in the final from under Real’s noses, but can they do just that and provide the Champions League with yet another upset this season?

Beating Madrid at the Bernabeu is a tough task at the best of times, but Bayern’s chances are hindered even further by a lengthy injury list. Already without Manuel Neuer, Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman, it has now been confirmed that Jerome Boateng will be sidelined for the rest of the season at least due to the hamstring problem he picked up in the first leg. Coach Jupp Heynckes is also sweating on the fitness, of James Rodriguez and Arjen Robben for the return meeting, so with all of this in mind it is hard to see anything other than a Madrid win on Tuesday night.

And I have to say, it is somewhat surprising that their match ‘Winner’ odds are not shorter heading into this game. Real did survive a massive scare at home to Juventus in the last round, but on that occasion they had a three-goal cushion going into the second leg at the Bernabeu and that will have had a major effect on their approach and mindset that night. There was no real need to go on the offensive, but that is not the case here because their lead is the smallest it could possibly be. Real will have certainly learned their lesson after needing a last-gasp penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo to end Juve’s sensational fightback, and I do not expect to see the back-to-back holders make the same mistake here.

Also, it must be pointed out that Bayern, as good as they are, are not nearly as dominant on their travels as they are at the Allianz Arena. In this competition they have already lost 3-0 at Paris St Germain while scraping wins against the likes of Celtic and Anderlecht in the group stage. It goes without saying that Real are a major step up from those sides, so everything points to the Spanish giants being the team that advances from this tie on Tuesday night. I expect them to march on with a second-leg victory, which would be their seventh straight success against Munich in the Champions League..

And of course, if I am backing Real for the win I have to recommend backing Ronaldo to play a goal-scoring role. Given the Portuguese’s incredible record in the Champions League - he has scored a record-setting 120 goals - it was rather surprising to see him draw a blank as Real found the back of the net twice in that first leg. However, Ronaldo does already have 15 goals to his name in this season’s competition, and it would not surprise anyone to see goal number 16 come in the semi-final second-leg on Tuesday night.

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Real Madrid v Bayern Munich UEFA Champions League Semi-Final Match Preview and Predictions - Real to stay on course for three straight Champions League crowns

Real Madrid took a big step towards another Champions League Final with a first-leg win at the Allianz Arena – will they now complete the job when they host Bayern Munich at the Bernabeu?

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