The semi-finals of the European Champions League will kick off on April 17 at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany when Bayern Munich takes on Spanish league leaders Real Madrid. The winners will take on either Chelsea of England or Spain’s Barcelona in the final on May 19, which also takes place at the Allianz Arena.
One of the hottest strikers in the world at the moment is Bayern’s Mario Gomez, who has 11 goals in the tournament so far. However, Real Madrid also has one of the top-scoring footballers in the world with Cristiano Ronaldo, who has eight in the competition.
Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes is telling his players that this is a once in a lifetime chance for them to win the Champions League Final in front of their own fans in Munich. However, they’ll obviously have to beat Madrid first before worrying about the final. This should give the home team added incentive though in the first leg of the tie.
The club is more or less out of the running when it comes to winning the German Bundesliga championship, but they still do have a mathematical chance. This means they’ll be concentrating most of their energy on the Champions League. They drew 0-0 against Mainz at home on the weekend and they’re eight points behind league-leading Borussia Dortmund, but there’s just three games left in the current season.
Heynckes knows Real Madrid well as he coached them in the Champions League in 1998 and managed for eight years in the Spanish league. He realizes that Madrid is perhaps one of the most dangerous teams in the world at the moment and will be hard to stop. He knows his players will have to make their scoring chances count and will need to play well defensively to keep Madrid’s top players off of the score sheet.
Munich skipper Philipp Lahm said his team wants to make history by becoming the first club to play a Champions League Final at home. He said even though it appears the league title is history they main goal for the tam now is obviously the Champions League. They should go into the game with a relatively healthy side as Bastian Schweinsteiger looks to be the only player who may miss the game due to injury, but could still dress. Defenders Breno and Daniel Van Buyten could miss the match with injuries.
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho will take 24 players over with him to Munich for the game, with some of them being German internationals, such as Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira. Xabi Alonso should be back in the squad and he feels Madrid needs to score in Munich. He said an away goal is a huge advantage and his team will be going out to get one. Ricardo Carvalho and Lassana Diarra are expected to miss the match with injuries.
Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid Predictions
Look for two high-scoring teams to battle it out here, but there likely won’t be an avalanche of goals. Munich should be able to squeak out a one-goal victory though.
Online bookmaker William Hill has the latest odds of a Munich victory listed at 8/5 with a Madrid win at 17/10 and a draw at 9/4.