Wednesday 27th April. 7:45PM. BT Sport Europe
The Champions League semi-finals continue on Wednesday night with another mouth-watering prospect as 2014 finalists Atletico Madrid take on 2013 winners Bayern Munich in what should be an absorbing clash of philosophies.
Both clubs have overcome difficult tests, over Barcelona and Juventus respectively, to reach this stage of the competition and will be equally determined to take the advantage in this last four encounter by registering a positive first leg result.
Prepare yourselves for a thriller.
Atletico To Make Home Advantage Count?
Diego Simeone’s men have worked wonders over the past few years and this is promising to be another fantastic season as they fight for domestic and European honours. However, with a return trip to the Allianz to come, they’ve got to make the most of this opportunity at the Calderon.
The Rojiblancos have been brilliant all season, often churning out slender wins via clean sheets. If Jan Oblak and his defenders will need to be at their best to keep a shutout against the rampant visitors. But the industrial Spaniards are more than capable.
In the attacking third, Atletico will mainly look towards star man Antoine Griezmann, who was instrumental against Barcelona in the previous round. If the Liga side can find the Frenchman with regularity, they’ll have every chance of a positive result.
Ideally, the hosts will be looking for a win to nil due to the away goals rule. Achieving this kind of result is what they specialise in this season, but it certainly won’t be easy.
Can Pep End Munich Tenure In Style?
Bayern Munich know that their manager is leaving For Manchester this summer, and they’ll be eager to end this era with the perfect German and Champions League treble. This clash could go a long way to deciding whether they will.
The Germans will fancy their chances of braking down a tough Atletico backline. After all, they scored twice against Juventus in Turin, and boast the talents of Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery to name just three.
Like their opponents, the Bavarians boast immense quality throughout the squad and Manuel Neuer will be hoping to register another clean sheet. If he does, the Germans will have to be favourites to seal their place in Milan on May 28th.
Tensions will be boiling from the outset. It should be an intriguing battle of the minds and tactics. Do not miss it.
Atletico Madrid v Bayern Munich Betting
Bayern are fairly strong favourites over two legs and even enter this away tie at the shorter odds with Bet365 making them 13/8. Atletico are only just behind at 2/1, though, while the draw can be backed at 11/5.
As the odds suggest, this is a truly difficult encounter to predict and the first goal could be absolutely vital. The pressure is on Atletico to establish a lead, but they thrive under that pressure and can have a big say here.
Bayern haven’t looked impregnable in Europe, and this is something Atletico can punish. However, we just can’t see the visitors failing to score either.
Neither team is likely to go all-out-attack. But we do expect to see plenty of excitement, and think Bayern will be the ones probing more often than not.
With this in mind, we’re backing their main man to break the deadlock with another crucial Champions League semi-final. With William Hill offering refunds on the second goalscorer, it has to be worth a punt.