Real Madrid will look to take a step towards the final of the Champios League as they host reigning champions Bayern Munich in the first leg of the semi-finals at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Carlo Ancelotti isn’t still sure of whether he will be able to line-up the two most expensive players in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo might start from the bench as he will return from a three-week injury, and Gareth Bale hasn’t trained this week with flew.
On the other hand, Marcelo is perfectly fit to play again. Yet, Ancelotti has decided to line-up Fabio Coentrao at left-back, given the Brazilian’s worst state of shape and the Portuguese’s recent good performances. Alvaro Arbeloa, Sami Khedira and Jese Rodriguez also remain in the sidelines.
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola will face Los Blancos for the first time as Bayern Munich’s manager with the absences of Thiago Alcantara and Xherdan Shaqiri. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez, who missed the last European match through suspension, will very likely return to midfield, sending Philipp Lahm back to the right-back.
Bayern have visited the Santiago Bernabeu in ten occassions, earning only two victories, the last of them back in 2001. This will also be the seventh time Ancelotti faces the German club. He met them in three Champions League knock-out rounds as AC Milan manager and he’s unbeaten against them: four victories and two draws.
The Germans come into the game in better physical condition, as they sealed the Bundesliga title a few weeks ago. Yet, they have lost two of their last three games, against Augsburg and Borussia Dortmund. Los Merengues have only lost one of their last five games, also against Dortmund. The Madrid team have knocked two German teams out of the competition so far this season and they will look to make it three in a row.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Modric, Alonso, Di Maria; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Lahm, Dante, Boateng, Alaba; Martinez, Schweinsteiger; Kroos, Robben, Ribery; Mandzukic