Only four teams remain in Europe’s premier club competition, the UEFA Champions league and it’s time for the clubs to show that they really mean business. The first of the semi-finals of the competition will see Spanish giants Real Madrid travel to Allianz Arena to face Bavarian giants Bayern Munich.
Both teams comfortably ousted their opponents in the quarter-finals and will be looking to continue in the same vein against each other. The two illustrious clubs last met in this competition in the year 2007 in the Round of 16, with Bayern Munich losing to Real by a 3-2 scoreline in the away leg, but securing qualification on the away goals rule via a 2-1 win in the home leg.
Jupp Heynckes will be determined to prove a point after being dismissed as Real coach in 1998 despite delivering European success. Arjen Robben was also shown the door by Real and is in line to start against his former club, with Heynckes able to call on a virtually full-strength starting XI after resting several star men at the weekend.
Daniel van Buyten has been out since January with a broken metatarsal, while Breno is yet to play this season because of knee problems. Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is also a minor doubt, said: “It’s all or nothing on Tuesday. We have to go to the limit and beyond, but we can do it with our fans behind us. It won’t be easy and it comes down to mental strength. I hope we show the mentality which marks Bayern out.”
Like his opposite number Heynckes, Mourinho has few injury concerns as he prepares to unleash his strongest line-up on Bayern. Ricardo Carvalho (thigh) and Lassana Diarra (hamstring) have not travelled to Munich with the rest of the squad but Marcelo and Angel Di Maria are available after recovering from respective back and thigh problems.
Midfielder Xabi Alonso feels it is crucial for Real to establish a good position at the halfway point in the tie ahead of next week’s second leg at the Bernabeu. “Playing the first leg away from home, we want to score as this gives you an advantage,” he said. “That is why we will go there to score. We are 100 per cent motivated for it. Reaching the final would be a major achievement for all of us and we are so determined to make it.”
Head to Head
13 Aug 2010 – Friendly – Bayern Munich 2-4 Real Madrid
07 Mar 2007 – Champions League Round of 16, 2nd Leg – Bayern Munich 2-1 Real Madrid
20 Feb 2007 – Champions League Round of 16, 1st Leg – Real Madrid 3-2 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich – DLWWW
Real Madrid – WWDWW
Probable Starting XI
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Alaba, Boateng, Badstuber, Lahm; Kroos, Schweinsteiger; Ribery, Muller, Robben; Gomez.
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Sahin, Xabi Alonso; Di Maria, Kaka, Ronaldo, Benzema.
Bayern Munich 1-1 Real Madrid