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Champions League: Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid: Predictions, injury news & tactics

Wednesday 12th April 2017
In what has been billed as the tie of the round, Real Madrid will lock horns with Bayern Munich in the Champions League last eight. In the two juggernauts most recent clash, Real Madrid unceremoniously dumped the Germans out 5-0 on aggregate.

This time the tie won't be one-sided, as both teams have since changed dramatically in personnel. The Bundesliga and La Liga leaders square off at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night with ambitions to secure a place in the Champions League semi-finals. Here is our match preview.

Injury News

Bayern Munich

For any other team, the players on this injured list would be a headache, but such is the depth of his squad that it's not a problem for Carlo Ancelotti. Bayern have several world class players injured but will be able to replace each of them with other top quality players.

  • Thomas Müller has been out recently with an ankle injury, however, the German participated in full training on the weekend. Club officials believe he'll be ready to face Madrid.

  • Mats Hummel's ankle injury is much more serious than first feared, the defender will be out for the foreseeable future.

  • Manuel Neuer is still not yet in full training.

  • Douglas Costa is also a fitness doubt for the match.

Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane has a different kind of headache at the Bernabéu. His main injuries are concentrated in the defensive department of the team. This has left him stretched for suitable alternatives to world class centre backs.

  • After scoring Los Blancos' only goal in the Madrid derby, Pepe sustained a broken rib shortly after. Needless to say, the Portuguese defender will be out for several weeks to come.

  • Raphael Varane has been out since the 23rd of February with a hamstring injury. It's expected that the Frenchman will be out until early May.

Predicted Lineups

With Madrid on the verge of a defensive crisis, it looks as though Nacho Fernandez may have to square up against Robert Lewandowski. Apart from that, Madrid will be at full strength for the Champions League tie. The only thing to be seen will be whether Cristiano Ronaldo plays centrally or not.

Seeing as Carlo Ancelotti has always favoured the mentality of experienced players over youthful players, expect to see Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery starting on Wednesday. The duo started and dominated against Borussia Dortmund on the weekend.
Based on this season, it looks probable Real Madrid will line-up 4-3-3 against Bayern's fluid 4-2-3-1 system.  Ancelotti's men will look to dominate possession and circulate the ball through the lines. Xabi Alonso and Thiago Alcántara have many a time played keep ball in the middle of the park, much to the anguish of opposing teams. Against Madrid, it'll be no different as Zidane's men will approach the game cautiously.

Real Madrid will seek to pounce on the counter attack like they did in 2014, as they target the flanks where Bayern are at their weakest. Zidane will instruct his men to stay compact through the middle, block off passing lanes and ensure they double up on Robben and Ribery.

With all things considered, the affair will be tight, nervy and decided on one or two select moments of quality. Madrid will be hard to break down but the continuous Bayern Munich onslaught will eventually prevail.

First leg Prediction: Bayern Munich 2 – 1 Real Madrid
Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with ample amounts of passion for both Cristiano Ronaldo & Real Madrid. I'm one of those bandwagonist hipster fans that will claim to know everything about football, but only watches the El Clasico outside of the Premier League. Forgive me, I'm trying. Oh yeah, #WengerOut. 

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