|UEFA Champions League 2013/14|
| Bayern Munich
||vs|| Real Madrid
ScheduleTuesday, 29 April 2014 at 18:45 GMT / 19:45 UK / 00:15 IST
VenueAllianz Arena (Munich)
Next Tuesday, Bayern Munich will entertain a motivated Real Madrid at Allianz Arena for the semi-finals’ second leg of the UEFA Champions League on a match where the German side wants to prove that what happened at Santiago Bernabéu was just a small bump on their way to win the competition for the second season in a row.
In a recent interview, Pep Guardiola defended himself and his team against some recent criticism from pundits by claiming that he is proud of his players and of what they have done during last week’s match and that, regardless what might happen next Tuesday, he will feel dignified by his team’s attitude.
Guardiola looked somewhat aggravated by the recent criticism from the German media and in that same interview he reacted with some irony on that matter, claiming that his side was coronated as the Bundesliga Champions last March and that he just wants to keep working to achieve even greater things, reason why he is not willing to spend time reading the pundits’ analysis of his work.
It is a fact that Bayern Munich didn’t look as strong as they were, for instance, two months ago, although Pep Guardiola will certainly not lose the opportunity to prove everyone wrong, that his Bayern Munich are very much alive and that the team is ready to defend their title at Lisbon’s final next May.
For the next Tuesday clash against Los Blancos, Pep Guardiola will still not be able to count on the midfielders Thiago Alcântara and Xherdan Shaqiri and on the German backup goalkeeper Tom Starke, all sidelined due to injury.
As for Real Madrid, Los Blancos will face next Tuesday’s match with renewed optimism after having lifted the Copa del Rey trophy two weeks ago and after beating Bayern Munich at Bernabéu last week. In an interview this week, Carlo Ancelotti, claimed that Real Madrid will not only play defensively at Allianz Arena, but he will also keep his front trio (Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale), regardless of Bayern’s tactical approach for the match. It is widely known that the German team usually plays with four midfielders plus a deep lying playmaker behind them, which might constitute a serious threat to Real’s three-man midfield; furthermore, if we have in mind that one those men (Di Maria) hardly participates in defensive tasks, we can easily understand that it would be difficult for Real’s midfield to withstand Bayern’s high pressure game.
For the next Tuesday’s match, Ancelotti will still not be able to count on Arbeloa, Sami Khedira, and Jesé Rodríguez, who are still recovering from their long term injuries. The good news are that Ronaldo and Bale already seem to be fully recovered and they will be able to offer their contribution to the team on next Tuesday’s match.
After last week’s 1-0 win, Real Madrid seem to have everything within their favour to walk through to the final, although, given the fact that they will face the current trophy holders, who want to replicate last season’s success, it will certainly be a very even match, which will certainly be decided on a genius’ effort from any of both team’s stars.
W-7 L-2 D-2
Recent Form - WDDWL
W-7 L-1 D-1
Recent Form - WWWLW
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