MX23RW : Monday, October 15 13:35:12
Apr 23, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid
1-0
Bayern Munich
Benzema (19')
Isco (57')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich

Sports Mole looks ahead to the opening leg of the Champions League semi-final tie between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

There were many neutrals that wanted these two sides to be kept apart during the recent Champions League semi-final draw, believing that it would make for the most entertaining final in Lisbon.

Yet Real Madrid and holders Bayern Munich, who have won the competition 14 times between them, will play out the first leg of their final four clash at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

Both are on a history-making quest, with Los Blancos determined to lift the famous trophy for a 10th time, while Bayern are bidding to be the first team to retain the title since the Champions League's inception in 1992. If that wasn't enough, Pep Guardiola, a legend with Real's bitter rivals Barcelona, is the German club's head coach.

During his four-year tenure in charge of the Catalans, Guardiola won nine of his 15 encounters with Real, losing just twice.

He will be without Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara and Xherdan Shaqiri for the trip, but aside from that, he has a full complement of players to select from.

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez missed the 3-1 victory over Manchester United last time out through suspension, but both are available and have been tipped to be included in the starting lineup. As a result, Philipp Lahm may revert to right-back, with Thomas Muller dropping down to the bench.

The big news for hosting Madrid is that their Portuguese talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, a scorer of 49 goals from his 39 outings for club and country this term, is fit to feature following a recent hamstring problem.

His return could come at the expense of Isco, with Angel Di Maria moving into a deeper role as Ronaldo moves into a three-pronged attack alongside Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. Meanwhile, if Marcelo is unable to recover from a muscular injury, Fabio Coentrao will deputise at left-back.

These two sides have met in the Spanish capital on 10 occasions, with Munich winning just twice, the last of which came back in 2001 when Brazilian striker Giovane Elber scored the only goal of the game.

Recent form

Real: WWWLWW

Bayern: DLWLWW

Possible starting lineups

Real: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Alonso, Modric; Di Maria, Bale, Ronaldo; Benzema

Bayern: Neuer; Lahm, Dante, Boateng, Alaba; Martinez, Schweinsteiger; Kroos, Robben, Ribery; Mandzukic

Sports Mole says: 1-1

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Bayern Munich's Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri reacts during the UEFA Super Cup football match FC Bayern Munich vs Chelsea FC on August 30, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Sevilla85121881016
2Barcelona84311991015
3Atletico MadridAtletico843194515
4AlavesAlaves8422118314
5Real Madrid8422127514
6Espanyol8422117414
7Real Valladolid833276112
8Real Betis833256-112
9Real Sociedad83231211111
10Celta Vigo82421312110
11Levante83141214-210
12EibarEibar8314912-310
13Getafe823367-19
14Valencia816167-19
15GironaGirona82331013-39
16Villarreal822467-18
17Athletic Bilbao7142913-47
18Leganes8215712-57
19Rayo Vallecano7124715-85
20Huesca8125718-115

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