The arrival of both teams coming into this game couldn’t be more different. Real Madrid managed a 1-2 victory at Camp Nou against their greatest rivals Barcelona to effectively seal the title at the weekend, while Bayern Munich watched on as Borussia Dortmund doused themselves in beer and celebrated a second successive Bundesliga triumph.
The Germans now turn their attention back to the Champions League, and will take a 2-1 lead to Bernabéu in what is set up to be a classic. José Mourinho, meanwhile, will be looking for his team to imprint their style on the contest - something they failed to do at the Allianz Arena last week.
As well as failing to do that, Madrid stabbed themselves in the foot time and time again in Munich. They were fractured defensively and allowed Bayern to increase the pressure on a usually watertight defence. Sergio Ramos and Fabio Coentrao were the main guilty parties, while Pepe was the only man who gave an assured performance. That can’t happen again here, as allowing Bayern to score would only increase the difficulty of the task. They’ll need more cohesion and balance in midfield too, as they look to dictate the game while the attack will buzz around devilishly as usual. Galactico goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo is 3.80 to score first, while Gonzalo Higuaín and Karim Benzema are 2.25 and 2.35 to score anytime respectively.
Madrid have won 10 of their last 11 home games in this competition, a formidable record from a team who look to steamroll visitors to the Bernabéu. They’re 1.50 to win here, and 1.70 to go through outright. Narrowing it down to a score, a 2-0 at 9.25 is tremendous value.
Mourinho’s call on who to play at left back - Coentrao or Marcelo - will be dependent on whether he needs more security in defence, or an extra body moving into midfield. Portuguese fullback Coentrao was superb in El Clásico and could continue here. Esteban Granero could also start, as the balance and intelligence he provides in central midfield could swing the midfield battle in Madrid’s favour. Coentrao, Sergio Ramos and Pepe are all a booking away from missing the final.
Bayern Munich, meanwhile, have the lead coming into the game, one which they must protect. But given Madrid’s imperious home scoring form, the Germans will most likely need to score themselves. They are 1.42 to score anytime during the game. However, their away form in the competition is mixed, as they lost twice and drew once while winning on three occasions. They are 2.15 to go through outright here.
Much of Jupp Heynckes’ team was rested at the weekend against Werder Bremen, so plenty of fresh legs will be on the field here. Franck Ribéry managed the winner in that game, and celebrated with Arjen Robben – the two are supposed to have had a falling out recently. The Dutchman is 3.70 to score anytime here, while the wild Frenchman is at 4.90.
An interesting facet to the game will be how Bayern deal with their yellow cards, with many players currently just the single booking away from missing the final. David Alaba, Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng, Luiz Gustavo, Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm and Thomas Müller are all in that category and it will be interesting to see how much, if at all, they hold back. Badstuber is 3.10 to get a card here and Kroos 3.50.
Despite a solid game at the weekend, Müller looks set to return to the bench and that means Jupp Heynckes will field the same side from the first leg. Bastian Schweinsteiger’s form has been a doubt, and the weekend saw him grow a little more in terms of his fitness – an on-form Schweinsteiger would be a huge plus for Bayern as they look to advance to the final.
BEST BET: Bayern not to score is 2.65.
PREDICTION: Real Madrid to win on the night, and go through narrowly.