Bayern vs Real Madrid
UEFA Champions League semifinals kick-start today with the first leg between German giants Bayern Munich and Mourinho’s Real Madrid.
Bayern lost the race against Dortmund for the title in Bundesliga after a defeat in the championship derby, followed by a home draw against Mainz 0-0. In this last match it could be seen that Bayern rested some starters and were overall on low throttle, trying to preserve energy for this crucial first leg, as they need a favorable result on Allianz Arena to have any chance at going through. Bayern faced Real Madrid six times in the CL since 2000 and the Bavarians remained unbeaten at home in all these encounters, being 5-1-0 with a 13-6 GD there. Considering that they have been average travelers this season in the CL, they absolutely need to win the first leg to be able to qualify. Bayern have won all home games this season in the CL, but tonight they will face the most difficult task. Jupp Heynckes said that Scweinsteiger might not start as a central MF because of the lack of practice hours, but i doubt that will happen. This is most likely a tactic to distract Mourinho, so i guess Bastian and Toni Kroos will be the high stamina center of the team. Up front Bayern will have their best four lined-up, with Robben and Ribery on the flanks and Muller in the center, Gomez being the tip of the sword. Robben will have to make amends after ruining Bayern’s game in the championship final at Dortmund where he missed a penalty and another two empty netters. Only notable absence will be Van Buyten, but he would not have been the smart pick for a starter anyway against Real’s high paced MFs.
Real Madrid want to win the CL, that is a fact. They are unbeaten this season in Europe, the only draw coming at CSKA in Moscow on a bad pitch and rather cold weather. Real have had a very easy group, but also average opponents in the Last 16 and Last 8 rounds. This is their first difficult task and things are not looking very bright. Real have a horrible history against German teams when playing away, winning just once in about 20 matches. Mourinho will not risk anything in this first leg as he knows the Bavarians are only focusing on the CL right now and have a very dangerous offensive line. Carvalho and Lass will miss this first leg, but they have been out for some time now. Mourinho rested Benzema and Di Maria in the home game against Gijon, so he will approach the game with the successful 4-5-1 he has used all season long. Khedira and Alonso will be the centers of the team, but the key yo this game will probably be the lateral defenders. Considering Marcelo’s offensive hunger, Real will be in danger of giving too much space for Robben, while Ribery cannot be stopped by Arbeloa alone, so we shall see Khedira going down to help the right wing a lot. Up front, Di Maria, Ozil and Ronaldo will be the engines, while Benzema will most likely be the striker, which i do not agree as Higuain is faster and more technical and would be the better pick against Boateng and Badstuber.
This will be a great semi-final, but it is unlikely that we will see many goals tonight. Caution will be the key and a draw is likely as a final result. Both teams have formidable wingers that will penetrate the flanks many times throughout the game. None of these teams like central incursions very much as Barca does, so a lot of crosses from the sides are to be seen. This is why i think we can see at least 5 corners from each side, and with the line set at 10.5 i will gladly take over 10.5 corners at 2.10 with Bet365. Good luck.
Bet: Over 10.5 corners @2.10 with Bet365
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