Much has been made of Pep Guardiola’s unbeaten record at the Bernabeu, but his out-of-form Bayern side will be hard pressed to maintain that record tonight.
Real Madrid may be lagging behind in the race for La Liga, but their focus is on winning the Champions League, something that would keep Carlo Ancelotti out of the firing line - and out of Manchester United's grateful arms.
Remarkably, Ancelotti and Guardiola have never met as coaches and this first meeting promises to be an intriguing one.
Marcelo will miss out again for Madrid, meaning Los Blancos will benefit from Fabio Coentrao’s attacking instincts, but will lose out on Marcelo’s defensive nous. And against inverted winger Arjen Robben, that could be a problem. Luckily for Real, Robben has been some way off his best in recent weeks, scoring only once in his last 10 games.
Madrid will be boosted by the return of star duo Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have been battling flu and a hamstring injury, respectively. Both players are likely to play, given the magnitude of the game, with Philipp Lahm likely to revert to right-back as he did at the weekend at Eintracht Braunschweig, as Bayern attempt to cope with the threat both Madrid attackers pose.
Thiago Alcantara is injured and, with David Alaba set to miss out through illness, Jerome Boateng could play at left-back, meaning Javi Martinez could be forced to play at centre back. Good news for Madrid.
Bayern have not been playing well by their standards, and enter the business end of the season a long way off the form that saw them cruise effortlessly to the Bundesliga title some weeks ago. In fact, since clinching the title last month, Bayern's performance level has dipped dramatically, winning only three of their last seven games.
Guardiola’s side returned to winning ways in the Bundesliga last weekend with a 2-0 win at Eintracht Braunschweig, but it came after their first back-to-back league losses in over two years. The loss at Augsburg and a comprehensive 3-0 defeat by Borussia Dortmund sandwiched a 3-1 win over Manchester United in the Champions League, although Bayern were far from convincing on that occasion too. There are clear signs that Bayern have switched off.
Real Madrid suffered a blip in form two weeks ago at Westfalenstadion, where they almost squandered a 3-0 first leg lead to Dortmund during a nervy 2-0 defeat. But Ancelotti’s side will put that down to experience and the Italian will be focusing on replicating the five wins they’ve notched up in their last six games, most of which have been without the injured Ronaldo.
Ronaldo to score first 4.60
Real Madrid to win 2.45
Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich 9.50