UCL Road To Kiev Final: Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid
These two European giants seem to meet in the knock out stages quite often. With this being their 25th meeting, it is now the most played tie in Champions League history. Last season, it was Madrid that emerged victorious over the two-legged quarterfinal affair, and they will again rely on the sensational form of Cristiano Ronaldo to provide the decisive edge for them. Bayern, however, have been consistently good since the arrival of Jupp Heynckes this season. He knows how to get the best from his best players and Muller and James, in particular, have performed better under his management. With the Bundesliga already wrapped up for Bayern, they have had the luxury of rotating their better players. Madrid have also engaged in such rotations, albeit because the deficit is so large between them and Barcelona in first place in La Liga. Real Madrid are one knockout tie away from a third final in 3 years. Zidane deserves massive credit for managing what has always been a demanding Madrid job to deliver Champions League success twice in two seasons. Having been to a record eight straight semi-final ties, Madrid will feel that the final in Kiev is theirs to arrive at.
Bayern have lost their last three semi-final ties, however, they had won the previous four. Madrid have won their last two semi-final ties, however, they lost 5 of the previous 6.
Jupp Heynckes may prove to be Bayern’s luck charm having always won the competition whenever he previously coached in it. Two previous victories; one when he previously coached Real Madrid in 1997-98 and the other one during his last season as Bayern coach.
Lewandowski has been subject to increasingly consistent rumors that a move to Madrid will be on the horizon in the summer. Cristiano has been the in-form player of this Champions League campaign with a number of decisive goals and an unprecedented streak of scoring in every single CL game. Which player will prove to be more influential during this tie?
James will be playing against his former teammates after being loaned out to Bayern this season. Having lost favor with Zidane, James has found a new lease on life in Munich and will certainly be extra motivated.