Champions League Betting: Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

It’s being billed as a clash of the titans by many. A game between two European footballing giants drenched in history and prestige. Between them there are 13 European Cups, and a deluge of respective domestic success. Peel back those layers, and you’ll find a bitter rivalry between the two. Unsurprisingly, words have been said pre kick-off.

Uli Hoeness, president of Bayern Munich, stated in an interview that Real Madrid have more respect for the German club, than they do in return. The outspoken Hoeness has been there before too, branding Madrid’s ‘Galáctico’ era as a circus act. If that wasn’t fighting talk, then I don’t know what is.

Bayern have plenty of leverage when it comes to boasting though. They’ve managed an impeccable home record in the competition thus far with 5 victories (6 if you include qualifying), and remain unbeaten by the Spanish side at home with 8 victories and 1 draw. The attacking weaponry the Germans harness is fearsome also, with Mario Gómez taking prominence. The striker has 25 of Bayern’s 69 goals in the Bundesliga this season, with another 11 – 50% of the team’s goals exactly - in the Champions League. He’s at 2.20 to score anytime.

Behind him, lay two dangerous creative outlets in Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry.  Both of whom have weighed in with their fair share of assists this season, and the Dutchman has a particular point to prove due to his chequered past with Madrid. He’s at 8.00 to score from outside the penalty box.

However, form has dipped of late for Bayern. They lost a ‘title decider’ with Borussia Dortmund, and have been for the most part unimpressive while winning. This is due to a lot of unease in attack, with too much ponderous play in midfield leaving Bayern looking light up front. The movement of Ribéry and Robben too, has been stifled somewhat with both becoming overly relied upon, and predictable. Then, Luis Gustavo and Bastian Schweinsteiger share ball winning and link up play duties in central midfield. Defensively speaking, there haven’t been any serious problems and they look roundly solid. In fact, they’ve not conceded in three games in the Champions League, the longest run of its sort in the 2011/2012 competition. The defence will face its toughest test of the season here though. 

Selecting either Bastian Schweinsteiger or Thomas Müller alongside Luis Gustavo, is the only tough call coach Jupp Heynckes will need to make. Daniel Van Buyten and Breno are the only notable absentees. Gómez, Ribery, Philip Lahm and Toni Kroos were all rested at the weekend.

Bayern certainly have the tools required to do the job, it’s a question of using them correctly which will decide this one.

Real Madrid meanwhile can be as confident as ever striding into this match, despite their hideous form on German soil. They remain unbeaten in this season’s Champions League, and their group stage performance of 6 victories was a new record, achieved by only three sides previously. Importantly, when it comes to this game, away from home they have 4 wins from 5, conceding just the single goal. 

Bayern’s attacking force is more than matched by José Mourinho’s men, with the team hitting 107 goals in La Liga – equalling the record set by John Toshack’s classic Madrid. They have 32 goals in the Champions League, with only Barcelona’s 33 beating them. The trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuaín have been chief protagonists; their speed, power, skill and grace steamrolling opponents week after week. 

Mesut Özil, who’ll be a familiar face to the Germans, has been the intelligent supply line behind them and will look to weave his patterns behind Bayern’s double pivot in midfield. Ángel Di María’s return from injury is a boost also in the final stretch of the season, in these crucial games. Benzema and Higuaín are both at 3.20 to score anytime. 

Mourinho was without Xabi Alonso through suspension at the weekend, but has no serious concerns for Tuesday.

If any Madrid side can shake off the history, then it’s this one. Mourinho’s style of play suits the Champions League, and Bayern will need to be careful of the vicious counter attack upon losing the ball. Overall, the tie looks set to be another intriguing chapter in the history of two colossal clubs.

PREDICTION: A score draw, 1-1 at 7.00

BEST BET: Under 0.5 goals to be scored in the first half, is at 3.70.