Bayern Munich v Real Madrid – Allianz Arena at 19:45
On Wednesday night, two of the heavyweights of world football come head-to-head in Munich as Bayern welcome holders Real Madrid to the Allianz Arena.
Fresh from their Bundesliga title win, Bayern Munich is in high spirits after dispatching of Bayer Leverkusen 6-2 in the semi-finals of the DFB Cup. It’s a vast turnaround from the early season fortunes of the Bavarian club, who sacked manager Carlo Ancelotti as they flattered to deceive. Replaced by ex-treble winning manager Jupp Heynckes, who has led the side to another Bundesliga title.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, has failed to meet their usual expectations domestically. Currently sitting in third in La Liga, behind rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, and relied on an 87th-minute equalizer from Cristiano Ronaldo to rescue a point against Athletic Bilbao.
Could James haunt Madrid?
One of the major moves of the summer transfer window was James Rodriguez’s 2-year-loan deal to Bayern Munich. No rules in UEFA competitions block loanees from playing against their parent club, so James will be allowed to play against Madrid.
He’s been in fantastic form this year and Heynckes will be hoping he can reach those levels against their semi-final rivals. If he does, Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane may regret letting the Colombian leave.
Zidane fighting to keep his job?
As previously mentioned, Zidane has struggled to get Madrid to the levels achieved in recent years. It means that the Champions League is Madrid’s only chance of silverware this season, having lost to Leganes in the Copa Del Rey earlier on in the season.
At a club like Madrid, such a record is not acceptable to the fans and hierarchy. It means that Zidane is under increased pressure to keep his job and a lot is riding on the semi-final clash against Bayern.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Bayern -0.75 at 2.290