Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Real Madrid V Bayern Munich – Wednesday 23th April, 7:00PM. Sky Sports 1
The Champions League semi-final between reigning champions Bayern Munich and nine-time winners Real Madrid – dubbed the ‘Clasico’ of Europe – promises to be a truly titanic tie.
At the time of writing the two European heavyweights are a top-priced 6/4 and 11/4 respectively to win the tournament, so the general consensus is that the winner of this tie will go on to triumph in Lisbon on May 24.
The first-leg is at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night and, given that Los Blancos are unbeaten in their last 17 matches in Europe on home soil, Carlo Ancelloti’s charges will fancy their chances of taking a lead to Germany for next week’s decider.
However, Real’s record against the Bavarians at this stage of the Champions League isn’t good. Indeed, Bayern have overcome the Spaniards in four of their five previous semi-final ties in Europe’s premier club tournament.
888sport go 3/5 that Die Roten will once again qualify for the final at Los Merengues’ expense. If the German outfit do so and go on to lift the trophy in Portugal, they will become the first side to win the competition in consecutive seasons under its current guise.
Ronaldo expected to be fit for Bayern bout
Ancelotti was sweating on the fitness of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Ballon d’Or winner will feature on Wednesday evening after shaking off a hamstring injury.
Ronaldo, who is the top scorer with 14 goals in this season’s Champions League, has missed Real’s last four games but came through a training session with flying colours on Monday. He is 7/2 in the first goalscorer market with SkyBet.
Conversely, Gareth Bale, who netted the winning goal in the recent Copa del Rey final against Barcelona, has been hit with a flu virus, which has cast a significant shadow of doubt over his participation.
Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, will be without Thiago Alcantara and Xherden Shaqiri for the trip to the Spanish capital, but otherwise has pretty much a full-strength squad at his disposal.
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez will be back in the mix, having served suspensions against Manchester United in the last round. Mario Mandzukic is expected to lead the line for Bayern and is 6/1 to score first with Paddy Power.
Real Madrid v Bayern Munich Betting
Bayern have not suffered defeat in their last 10 Champions League games on the road and the visitors would presumably be more than happy to leave the Bernabeu with honours even.
During his four years as manager of Barcelona, Guardiola lost just two of his 15 encounters with Real, winning nine of the games in question. This will give the Bundesliga champions a psychological advantage, but I doubt that will be enough.
Los Blancos’ confidence will be sky-high following their Spanish Cup victory against Barca. And if Bayern play for a draw at the Bernabeu, as I suspect they will, Real will punish them in no uncertain terms.
I’m expecting the hosts to be quick off the blocks and recommend lapping up the 31/10 on offer with BetVictor about Real Madrid/Real Madrid in the half time/full time market.
In addition, Angel di Maria is too good to miss at 9/2 with Betfair to score anytime. The Argentinean has been in great form this season and, having scored in Real’s last two matches, he has a taste for goals at present.
I’m not a big fan of correct score betting, but if you put me on the spot, I’d predict a 3-1 victory for Carlo Ancelotti’s men (18/1 with Ladbrokes) on Wednesday night.