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UCL Preview – Bavarian giants bring war to Los Blancos’ Bernabeu
- Updated: May 1, 2018
Real Madrid showed the stuff of champions some days ago when they traveled to the Allianz Arena to face a red-hot Bayern Munich currently being inspired by the wily old Jupp Heynckes and emerged victoriously with a 2:1 victory although Bayern were clear favorites for a win and showed intent, but the Los Blancos’ poise for a good first leg result in their favor was outstanding as they contained all the attacking ammunition which the Bavarian giants threw at them.
Real Madrid ground out the result they needed on the night and are now at an advantage as they welcome Bayern to the Santiago Bernabeu for the widely anticipated return leg on Tuesday night. However, the stats on the night in the first leg were in favor of Bayern Munich, except the scoreline, and the Bavarian giants will be confident that they can get the needed result at the Santiago Bernabeu. Ribery effectively described the return leg at the Bernabeu as war, and Zinedine Zidane must prepare his side for what Bayern is cooking.
The unexpected players provided the goods in goals for Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena, and therefore the onus will be on Madrid’s main men in attack to step up on Tuesday night and ensure that they are too hot for the Bayern defense to shut out. Meanwhile, Bayern learned the hard way that all Madrid players on the pitch are a goal threat, and would do themselves a lot of good to not only concentrate on thwarting Ronaldo’s runs and attempts in this return leg, but be on the lookout for other players.
Real Madrid will have to be on the lookout for the threat that Frank Ribery offers from Bayern’s left side of attack especially with Dani Carvajal already ruled out for the game. The right side of Real’s defence was constantly under threat from Ribery’s pace and skill down that side all throughout the first leg encounter, and this must have played a part in Dani Carvajal exerting himself so much that he sustained an injury. Keylor Navas was called into action to thwart the Frenchman’s effort in the game. Zinedine Zidane must surely have worked out a plan in training to curb the Frank Ribery menace down that left side of Bayern’s attack.
The defense must also be ready, as Bayern’s lack of clinicality in attack in the first leg earned Madrid the victory. That’s one area that Jupp Heynckes’ men will be eager to improve upon tonight, and Real should not give them the opportunity to right their wrongs if they still want to proceed on a steady course to their dream of winning the UCL for the third consecutive time.
Isco and Carvajal are likely absentees for Real Madrid, However, Nacho is set to return as Zidane confirmed, and could be thrown into the fray
For Bayern, they’ll have to make do without Arjen Robben and Jerome Boateng. Meanwhile, Javi Martinez and David Alaba have returned from injury. Vidal is already out for the season.
This should be one of the biggest nights in the UCL this season, as there is still all to fight for in this tie. Madrid fans will be hopeful that the lethargy that Real used in prosecuting the return leg of the quarter-finals against Juventus at the Bernabeu does not repeat itself. Keylor Navas should also ensure he’s not part of the weak points of the team tonight. Ronaldo must improve on his first leg performance, that saw his run of scoring in every game in this season’s UCL competition come to an end. Hopefully, Madrid re-enact their master strategy that has seen teams fall short against them in the knockout stages of the competition thus far.
Sitting on the fence. No clean sheet for Madrid. This one goes down to the wire. Hopefully, the Los Blancos seal their qualification to the finals.