SportSoccer
SOCCER

Bayern count on home record against Real in bid to reach third straight final

Holders trail Spanish giants in double-header, but history is on their side in Munich

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 April, 2014, 9:52pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 April, 2014, 9:52pm

Bayern Munich plan on making home advantage count in tonight's Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid, having never lost at their own venue to the Spanish giants.

Madrid arrive in the Bavarian capital holding a 1-0 lead thanks to Karim Benzema's 19th-minute goal in last Wednesday's first leg in Madrid and are looking to avenge their defeat at the same stage to Bayern two years ago.

History is on the Germans' side. Bayern have never lost to Real in Munich, with eight wins and one draw, and have 11 victories in the fixture overall, to Madrid's eight, from 21 encounters.

The objective is to score, not to defend, and that is the manner in which we will continue
Carlo Ancelotti

Real maintained their positive momentum since beating Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final before the first-leg victory by romping to a 4-0 win over Osasuna in the Spanish league on Saturday.

Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo proved he was fit again after a hamstring injury, scoring twice to reach 47 for the season.

Real coach Carlo Ancelotti rested stars Benzema, who picked up a knee knock in the first leg, and Gareth Bale, who was recovering from flu, at Osasuna.

The Italian has insisted both men should be fit to start at the Allianz Arena.

"I am sure that whatever 11 I play will be full of desire and excited to play such a big game," said Ancelotti. "Everyone should be calm because we are going to prepare properly.

"The objective is to score, not to defend, and that is the manner in which we will continue."

Ancelotti has never lost to a German team in six encounters from his time as AC Milan manager, but the key to Tuesday's game will be who scores first.

Real will be chasing the first goal, which would leave Bayern needing to score at least three to progress to their fourth Champions League final in five years.

Worryingly for coach Pep Guardiola, Bayern have conceded first in seven of their last nine matches since winning the Bundesliga title with a record seven matches to spare last month.

A woeful first-half on Saturday saw the hosts 2-1 down to Werder Bremen in Munich before coming back with four second-half goals to claim a comfortable Bundesliga win.

Bayern are out to become the first side to retain the Champions League title and will be the first team since Juventus (1996-98) to reach three consecutive finals if they book their ticket to Lisbon on May 24 by beating Madrid.

In contrast, Real are eager to reach their first Champions League final since winning it in 2002. They have bowed out in the semis for the last three seasons.

Guardiola has some key selection decisions to make after Brazil's Rafinha struggled with the fleet-footed Real attack in Madrid One option would be to move captain Philipp Lahm to right-back from the defensive midfield.

Guardiola must also decide who to pair in midfield after Germany pair Thomas Mueller and Mario Goetze both started on the bench in Madrid.

Share

Send to a friend

To forward this article using your default email client (e.g. Outlook), click here.

Enter multiple addresses separated by commas(,)

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive