Bayern host Real Madrid in the latest instalment of the European Clasico

Bayern host Real Madrid in the latest instalment of the European Clasico

Bayern vs Real Madrid – Wednesday, April 25, 19:45BST/20:45CEST –Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany

Bayern vs Real Madrid will take place at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Wednesday (Photo by Lennart Preiss/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bayern vs Real Madrid will take place at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Wednesday (Photo by Lennart Preiss/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bayern vs Real Madrid is the very definition of the clash of European football royalty. In fact, it is the continental equivalent of the EL Clasico or Klassiker as no match in the European competition has been played more often than Bayern against Real Madrid.

Overall, the German and the Spanish giants have met on 25 occasions – seven times at the semi-final stage of the European Cup/Champions League. “The clock strikes 13”, Germany’s magazine kicker’s headline read on Monday – to borrow from a German saying that highlights a big event to take place.

It is indeed remarkable that the two sides are now meeting for their 13thtwo-legged affair – 11 knockout ties and one in the group stage. The matchups have also been fairly even with both Bayern and Real Madrid each winning six two-legged ties.

As a result, of Bayern’s record against Real Madrid and the Bavarians history of winning several Trofeo Bernabeu back in the 1970s, 80s and 90 as well as eliminating the Los Blancos from the Champions League in 2007 and 2012 Bayern were known as La Bestia Negra (the black beast) in Madrid. But that title has been somewhat watered down in recent years with Real Madrid eliminating Bayern in 2014 – decisively 5-0 on aggregate – and in 2017 – controversially.

That match in 2017, in particular, will now fuel the Bavarians. Bayern had equalised a 2-1 deficit in Madrid and were dominating the game at the Bernabeu, Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai, however, had a particularly bad day sending off Arturo Vidal while leaving Real’s Casemiro on the pitch.

As a result, Real were able to rescue themselves into extra-time where an exhausted Bayern side were picked apart by Real. The match sparked controversy among neutral press and Kassai was widely criticised for his decisions.

Arturo Vidal, in particular, felt hard done by and hoped that he could make up for the double booking that ultimately cost Bayern the match last season. The Chilean midfielder, however, will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury and will be missed by Bayern, who have plenty of attacking midfielders but other than Javi Martínez lack defensive options in central midfield.

With Corentin Tolisso also out for the match, it will be interesting to see how Bayern head coach Jupp Heynckes will address stability in midfield. The likely solution will be to start James and Thomas Müller in a three-man midfield with the Colombian providing the holding part next to Javi Martínez.

Real, in the meantime, have somewhat lost their depth from previous seasons. With Álvaro Morata gone to Chelsea, James Rodríguez now at Bayern and Gareth Bale a shadow of his former self Real Madrid, now more than ever, are carried up front by Cristiano Ronaldo. The lack of attacking depth at Real, and Bayern’s regained stability under Heynckes, gives Bayern fans hope that they can regain their title as La Bestia Negra and while this is a match between two very evenly matched sides Bayern might be slight favourites going into the first leg.

Bayern vs Real Madrid – Players to look out for:

Javi Martínez #8 – Bayern München

With Arturo Vidal out defensive stability in midfield will rest on the shoulder of Javi Martínez. Moved back to midfield by head coach Jupp Heynckes Javi Martínez had regained his form from 2013 when he, together with Bastian Schweinsteiger, was crucial in Bayern’s midfield and anchored the team to the treble. With Schweinsteiger gone and Vidal injured Javi Martínez will now have to carry the entire defensive workload in midfield and will also be charged with disrupting Real Madrid’s counter-play. Not an easy task but the Spaniard has shown in the past that he is up to carrying a heavy workload.

Javi Martínez will carry the defensive load in Bayern's midfield (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Javi Martínez will carry the defensive load in Bayern’s midfield (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo #7 – Real Madrid

It is difficult to look past Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to Real Madrid’s key players. The 33-year-old Portuguese forward has been once again phenomenal in the UEFA Champions League this season. His bicycle kick against Juventus was the most spectacular of the 15 goals Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in his ten Champions League games this season – one goal every 60 minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo also loves scoring against Bayern. The Portuguese forward has scored seven goals in the last three appearances against Bayern – and nine goals in six matches overall.

Cristiano Ronaldo loves playing against Bayern München (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo loves playing against Bayern München (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Bayern vs Real Madrid – Match Stats

  • This is the clubs’ fourth two-legged tie in seven seasons, Madrid winning two of those to Bayern’s one.
  • Overall, the teams have played in 11 previous knockout contests – all in the European Cup – Madrid winning six and Bayern five; the German club lead 4-2 in semi-final ties.
  • This is Madrid’s record eighth successive UEFA Champions League semi-final, while Bayern are in the last four for the sixth time in seven seasons.
  • Madrid have won their last five matches against Bayern, scoring 13 goals and conceding four.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has seven goals in his last three appearances against Bayern – and nine in six matches overall.
  • Overall there is little between the teams in their 24 previous meetings. Each has won 11 matches, with two draws; Bayern have scored 36 goals, Madrid 37.

Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Bayern vs Real Madrid – 3-1

Bayern vs Real Madrid – Lineups

Bayern München:

Formation: 4-1-4-1

Ulreich – Alaba, Hummels, Boateng, Kimmich – James, Javi Martínez, Thomas Müller – Ribéry, Lewandowski, Robben

Head Coach: Jupp Heynckes

Real Madrid:

Formation: 4-3-1-2

Navas – Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Carvajal – Kroos, Casemiro, Modrić – Isco – Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema

Head Coach: Zinedine Zidane

Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada.  Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth. Or contact him via email: 


  • comment-avatar

    There’s some questionable memory in play here with regards to the refereeing last year, as if it was all in RM’s favor and Vidal shouldn’t have been sent off far earlier twice on his own.

    • comment-avatar

      I think this is a very Madrid centric comment. A quick search will show you that most of the world’s media – outside of the Spanish capital – saw Real as fortunate with regards to refereeing decisions.
      “Real Madrid controversially overcame Bayern Munich” – BBC
      “Real Madrid’s wild, controversial win against Bayern Munich” – Fox Sports USA
      “Referee decisions take centre stage despite Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick” – The Telegraph
      “Carlo Ancelotti has every reason to complain at Bayern Munich’s Champions League exit to Real Madrid” -Football Italia

      I could go on.. Cheers – Chris

      • comment-avatar

        The same quick search could also find a couple calls that went Bayern’s way. If you want to argue that it was poorly officiated as a whole, I’d agree! But to label it blatantly in Madrid’s favor is a German-centric comment to me.

        And I mean no offense by this, but I genuinely couldn’t be less bothered about what the press says. To me we’re at the worst state of global football press in a long, long time.

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