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UCL Semi-finals 2023-24: Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich – Preview & Prediction | When and Where to Watch the Match LIVE in India?

Thursday’s upcoming match marks the pivotal moment in the second UEFA Champions League semi-final encounter. Anticipating the clash at the Santiago Bernabéu, we offer our preview and prediction for the face-off between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

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Bayern’s Konrad Laimer in action against Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior. Image Credits – Bayern Munich Official Website

Read More: How Real Madrid Won The La Liga 2023-24 Without Their Starting CBs and Thibaut Courtois

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Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich: Match Preview

After securing their La Liga title, Real Madrid redirects their focus to the UEFA Champions League, aiming for an unprecedented 15th European triumph.

In the previous leg against Bayern Munich, Real Madrid encountered challenges, needing a late Vinícius Júnior penalty to equalize the score at 2-2 and bring the tie back to Spain. However, historical significance often accompanies Real Madrid’s performances at the Santiago Bernabéu in this prestigious competition.

Their recent domestic victory, facilitated by Girona’s win over Barcelona, solidified their 36th league triumph, matching Juventus’s record in Europe’s top five leagues. Carlo Ancelotti’s squad showcased depth in their lineup adjustments, with Brahim Díaz and Joselu contributing alongside Jude Bellingham in the goal-scoring department. Ancelotti opted to rest key players such as Vinícius, Rodrygo, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde, Aurélien Tchouaméni, and Antonio Rüdiger, strategically planning for the crucial second leg on Wednesday.

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Vinícius’s pivotal role was evident in the previous encounter, with the forward scoring twice. His contributions throughout the Champions League campaign since the start of Madrid’s triumphant 2021-22 season, involving 16 goals and 15 assists, surpass those of any other player.

In the match at the Allianz Arena, Vinícius Júnior’s striking goal was set up by a superb through pass from former Bayern player Kroos, who continues to be one of Ancelotti’s most relied-upon players. Notably, a significant portion of Kroos’s passes in this season’s Champions League have broken through at least one opposition line, making him the player with the highest percentage of line-breaking passes among those who have played at least 300 minutes in the tournament. In the first leg alone, Kroos delivered 23 such passes, more than double the number of the closest player (Konrad Laimer with 10).

Screenshot 2024 05 07 232122 UCL Semi-finals 2023-24: Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich – Preview & Prediction | When and Where to Watch the Match LIVE in India?
Leroy Sane against Toni Kroos in the 1st Leg at the Allianz Arena. Image Credits – Bayern Munich Official Website

This goal also showcased Madrid’s ability to string together a fluid passing sequence, as it came at the end of a 20-pass move. Despite the discussions surrounding Madrid’s European dominance, they continue to demonstrate their capacity for exceptional football. This goal marked their longest passing sequence leading to a goal in a Champions League knockout tie since May 2018, when Benzema found the net after a 28-pass buildup against Bayern at the Bernabéu.

Ancelotti, who guided Bayern to the Bundesliga title during the 2016-17 season, aims to further solidify his reputation as a master of European knockout football by reaching his sixth Champions League final. His current tally of five final appearances already surpasses that of any other manager.

On the opposing side, Thomas Tuchel could potentially achieve a historic feat by becoming the first coach to reach the final with three different teams. Previously, he experienced defeat in the 2020 final with Paris Saint-Germain before clinching victory with Chelsea in 2021.

Last week, Tuchel left open the possibility of reconsidering his future with Bayern, especially after Ralf Rangnick, Xabi Alonso, and Julian Nagelsmann declined the opportunity to succeed him. However, a disappointing performance in the Bundesliga over the weekend did little to strengthen Tuchel’s position, particularly as third-placed Stuttgart narrowed the gap to Bayern to just two points with a 3-1 victory.

Despite falling behind in the first leg, Bayern showcased resilience, with Leroy Sané and Harry Kane finding the net within four minutes in the second half, propelling them to a 2-1 lead. Sané’s goal came after an impressive drive into the area, resulting in his involvement in 11 goals following a carry (defined as traveling five or more meters with the ball) in the Champions League since the beginning of the 2021-22 season (eight goals, three assists), a record unmatched by any other player.

Meanwhile, Kane displayed cool-headedness as he calmly converted a penalty awarded after Lucas Vázquez fouled Jamal Musiala, bringing his total Champions League goals to 29. His next goal will see him equal Wayne Rooney as the all-time leading English scorer in the European Cup/Champions League. Additionally, Kane’s 11 goal involvements in this season’s competition set a new record for the most achieved by an Englishman in a single campaign.

Looking ahead to Thursday’s match, Bayern faces some selection challenges, with Raphaël Guerreiro sidelined due to an ankle injury, and both Eric Dier and Dayot Upamecano uncertain due to knocks.

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich: Head-to-head

In the lead-up to Wednesday’s match, Real Madrid holds a favorable record against Bayern Munich. Los Blancos have remained unbeaten in their last eight Champions League encounters with Bayern, comprising six victories and two draws. Moreover, they have secured victories in six of their last seven meetings at the Bernabéu, with the remaining match ending in a draw.

Bayern Munich has advanced from four of their previous seven European Cup/Champions League semi-final clashes against Madrid. However, Real Madrid emerged victorious in the last two encounters in the 2013-14 and 2017-18 seasons, subsequently winning the tournament on both occasions.

If Real Madrid were to progress on Wednesday, it would mark the first instance of either team advancing from three successive semi-final ties between the two clubs.

Bayern Munich’s defensive struggles against Real Madrid are evident in their recent Champions League encounters. They have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 16 matches against Madrid, marking their longest streak without a shutout against any club in the competition.

The last time Bayern managed to keep a clean sheet against Madrid was in the first leg of a semi-final tie back in May 2001, a match they won 3-1 on aggregate before ultimately lifting the trophy.

Carlo Ancelotti boasts an impressive record against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, having never suffered defeat in nine meetings. His record includes six victories and three draws, making it the longest unbeaten streak any coach has maintained against a single opponent in the competition’s history.

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich: Recent Form

Real Madrid has been in formidable form, remaining unbeaten in their last 42 matches across all competitions, excluding extra-time, with 30 wins and 12 draws. Their sole defeat in regular time this season occurred in September, a 3-1 loss to Atlético Madrid in La Liga.

In contrast, Bayern Munich has experienced a less consistent run, winning only four of their last nine games across all competitions. They have drawn two matches and suffered three defeats during this period.

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Leon Goretzka in a duel with Jude Bellingham. Image Credits – Bayern Munich Official Website

Furthermore, Bayern has encountered difficulties away from home in the Champions League recently. They lost 1-0 to Lazio in the round of 16 and managed only a 2-2 draw against Arsenal in the quarter-finals. This marks the first time since the 2015-16 season that Bayern has failed to win three consecutive away games in a single edition of the competition. In that season, they were eliminated in the semi-finals by Atlético Madrid on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich: Team News and Predicted Line-up

In team news for the upcoming clash between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, there are some notable updates.

Real Madrid: Team News

Real Madrid’s first-choice goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, made a timely return from his knee injury in the match against Cadiz over the weekend. However, manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Andriy Lunin will start in goal against Bayern Munich.

Dani Carvajal is back in contention for Real Madrid after serving his European suspension, leaving David Alaba as the only injury concern for the hosts.

Injuries: Alaba

Real Madrid Predicted Starting XI:

  • Goalkeeper: Andriy Lunin
  • Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Antonio Rüdiger, Nacho, Ferland Mendy
  • Midfielders: Toni Kroos, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Federico Valverde, Jude Bellingham
  • Forwards: Rodrygo, Vinícius Júnior

Bayern Munich: Team News

On the Bayern Munich side, Raphael Guerreiro is likely to miss the remainder of the season due to an ankle injury sustained against Stuttgart. Eric Dier is also a doubt after picking up a knock in the same match.

Dayot Upamecano’s availability will be determined by a late fitness test. However, there’s positive news as Matthijs de Ligt is nearing full fitness, providing a potential boost for Bayern. Nevertheless, Kingsley Coman, Tarek Buchmann, Sacha Boey, and Bouna Sarr remain unavailable for selection.

Injured: Coman, Sarr, Boey
Doubtful: Guerreiro, Dier, De Ligt, Upamecano

Bayern Munich Predicted Starting XI:

  • Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer
  • Defenders: Joshua Kimmich, Dayot Upamecano (subject to fitness), Eric Dier (if fit), Noussair Mazraoui
  • Midfielders: Konrad Laimer, Leon Goretzka, Thomas Müller
  • Forwards: Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala, Harry Kane

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich: Match Prediction

Our prediction leans towards Real Madrid for Wednesday’s crucial second leg. We assess that Madrid holds a significant advantage over Bayern Munich in terms of reaching the final.

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich: UCL Squads For The Semi-finals

Real Madrid UEFA Champions League Squad

  • Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Kepa, Andriy Lunin
  • Defenders: Nacho, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vázquez, Antonio Rüdiger, Ferland Mendy, Éder Militão, Fran García
  • Midfielders: Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Federico Valverde, Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, Arda Güler
  • Forwards: Brahim Díaz, Joselu, Vinícius Júnior, Rodrygo

Head Coach: Carlo Ancelotti

Bayern Munich UEFA Champions League Squad

  • Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer, Daniel Peretz, Sven Ulreich
  • Defenders:  Dayot Upamecano, Kim Min-jae, Matthijs de Ligt, Eric Dier, Noussair Mazraoui, Alphonso Davies,
  • Midfielders: Leon Goretzka, Konrad Laimer, Jamal Musiala, Joshua Kimmich, Leroy Sané, Thomas Müller, Aleksandar Pavlović
  • Forwards: Serge Gnabry, Harry Kane, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bryan Zaragoza, Mathys Tel

Head Coach: Thomas Tuchel


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