Champions League semi-final preview – Real Madrid v Bayern Munich

Real Madrid’s quest for a third successive Champions League title continues on Wednesday as they host Bayern Munich.

Indeed Madrid will be the first team to win the European Cup on three-successive occasions since their opponents Bayern did it in 1976. Indeed, only three teams have ever done the feat – Bayern, Ajax and Real themselves back when the competition first began in the 1950s.

But despite being on the brink of history, Real coach Zinedine Zidane insists that his side are not even favourites to win the trophy again.

“I don’t think there are any favourites. It’s a semi-final – it’s completely different to last season. It’s a different match,” he said.

“We are in the semi-finals and we want to play a good game. We are prepared for that, knowing that we are going to have to suffer.

“We will need a big performance against a strong opponent. Bayern are a great club with great team spirit. I have no doubts that mentally we will be at 150 per cent.”

Up against real is Jupp Heynckes, a former Real boss who won the Champions League in his one season with them, and he is looking to sign off in style as he is retiring in the summer.

But he agrees with Zidane that there is no favourite for the tie.

“It’s a semi-final featuring two teams with a great history in the Champions League,” he said.

“There isn’t a favourite. It’s true that Real Madrid have won the past two tournaments and have an advantage in that respect, but we are in great form.

“We’ve had success in the Bundesliga, we have reached a Copa del Rey final and we want to top it all off with a Champions League final.

“For me, there is no favourite, but I have a good feeling.”

See below for a preview on the game, including predictions from former England, Crystal Palace and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and BoyleSports’s Lawrence Lyons.

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Real Madrid 19:45 Bayern Munich
Santiago Bernabeu
First leg

TEAM NEWS: Bayern have some major injury doubts with David Alaba and  Corentin Tolisso facing late fitness tests. Madrid have a near fully fit squad with their only doubt being Nacho.
KEY FACT: 25th meeting between these two clubs – most-played UEFA competition tie
MATCH ODDS: Real 20/21 Draw 14/5 Bayern 13/5
BoyleSports Pick: Both Teams to Score and over 2.5 goals @5/6 
ANDY SAYS: Close game, but a good one can see it ending in a big draw…2-2
GRAEME SAYS: Good game this one, real class and I can see Real just edging it, but be close…2-1
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Gareth Bale is one who could really take off this summer

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