Preview: Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

Bayern Munich host Real Madrid as two of Europe’s elite clubs clash once again in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Tonight’s fixture is the first leg: given all of the talent on display, as well as recent meetings between the duo, it’s got the potential to be a mouthwatering encounter and it’s no wonder Bayern v Real Madrid betting odds are getting some real attention.

Head-to-head and current form

Real have won all three of the most recent meetings and boast an unbeaten run of nine matches in all competitions.

Meanwhile their hosts, buoyed by a shock defeat against Hoffenheim in midweek, bounced back to winning ways emphatically during their 4-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday evening.

Bayern have won their last 16 consecutive Champions League home games, highlighting just how daunting it is for opponents to snatch results at the Allianz Arena. The last team to defeat them was none other than Real themselves, at the semi-final stage three seasons ago on their route to winning the competition.

Having started slowly by their high standards under Carlo Ancelotti this term, many were tipping them to struggle amongst tougher opponents than they’re domestically used to.

The way they effortlessly breezed past Arsenal in the last-16 silenced critics and naturally, praise is coming their way once more. Pressure and expectation to deliver a Champions League title for his efforts was Pep Guardiola’s downfall in Bavaria but this tie is more significant from Ancelotti’s perspective. How he’d love to outsmart and knockout his former side, one who were quick to praise after sealing La Décima before mercilessly sacking him less than a year afterwards.

Real are typically known to reserve their best performances – or crucial moments – for when it really matters. That’s why it wasn’t much of a surprise that they finished second in a group with Sporting, Legia Warsaw and the aforementioned Dortmund.

Zinedine Zidane’s men can win matches without regularly reaching third gear and despite a valiant effort, Napoli learned the hard way in the last-16 as they were defeated 6-2 on aggregate.

They also have something to prove: the capability and desire needed to retain their trophy, something no club has achieved since AC Milan in 1990.

Team news

BAYERN

First-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer resumed training on Monday, having undergone a minor foot operation at the end of March. It’s highly probable that he’ll start, given the match’s significance.

Mats Hummels (ankle) is sidelined, whilst forward Thomas Müller is a doubt.

Possible XI (4-3-3): Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Martinez, Alaba; Alonso, Vidal, Thiago; Ribery, Robben, Lewandowski.

REAL

Pepe – who scored for Los Blancos in the Madrid derby this past weekend – is unavailable for selection. The imposing Portuguese centre-back sustained broken ribs during the 1-1 draw after a collision with teammate Toni Kroos. French defender Raphael Varane (muscle) is also an absentee and will not feature in Real’s backline.

Dani Carvajal trained individually indoors on Monday, and is a doubt for selection. The 25-year-old fullback sustained a minor knock and Danilo will start, if the Spaniard’s not fit enough.

Possible XI (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modrić; Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema.

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