By: TImothy Dehinbo
Two European giants, Bayern Munchen and Real Madrid face off in a heavyweight clash in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals, as Carlo Ancelotti and Toni Kroos face their former teams.
FC Bayern München and Real Madrid CF have been frequent opponents in the later stages of the UEFA Champions League, with 2016/17 marking their 11th of such knockout tie in the European Cup.
This first leg is the 23rd match between the two sides, making it the most played fixture in UEFA club competition.
Both teams bullied their way into the quarter-finals, Bayern annihilating Arsenal FC over two legs and Madrid also sending SSC Napoli packing as they bid to become the first team to retain the UEFA Champions League trophy.
This is Bayern’s 28th European Cup quarter-final, and their sixth in succession – they have reached the semi-finals in each of the last five
Overall, their last-eight record is W18 L9, with victories in their last six ties. Bayern are appearing in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the 16th time, more than any other club. FC Barcelona and Madrid
are next in line on 15 apiece.
At this stage a year ago, Bayern progressed against SL Benfica ( 1-0 h, 2-2 a). Their last quarter-final loss came in 2008/09, against Barcelona ( 0-4 a , 1-1 h ).
Bayern’s record in two-legged ties against Spanish clubs is W9 L9. Their interest in last season’s competition was ended in the semi-finals by Club Atlético de Madrid, who advanced on away goals despite a 2-1 second-leg loss in Munich.
It was Bayern’s third consecutive knockout defeat in ties against Spanish sides, meaning each of their last three UEFA Champions League campaigns have been ended by Liga opposition.
The Munich side have already beaten a Spanish opponent at home in this season’s competition, edging Madrid’s city rivals Atlético 1-0 on matchday six having lost by the same scoreline away.
That was a third straight home victory against Liga visitors; overall Bayern’s home record against Spanish clubs is W18 L2.
For Real Madrid, they are Unbeaten in this season’s competition, Madrid have made the quarter-finals for the seventh successive year and have their sights set on becoming the first team to retain the trophy in the UEFA Champions League era.
Madrid are making their 34th appearance in the European Cup quarter-finals, losing only six of those previous ties most recently against AS Monaco FC in 2003/04 .
The Spaniards have won their last six quarterfinal contests, and are seeking to reach the semi-finals for the seventh year in a row.
Twelve months ago, Zidane’s men lost 2-0 at VfL Wolfsburg in their quarter-final first leg but recovered to win the home return 3-0 thanks to a Ronaldo hat-trick.
Madrid’s record in two-legged ties with German clubs in UEFA competition is W13 L8. They have won each of their last five ties against German opposition, scoring 25 goals in the process.
Bayern were on a run of 20 games without defeat, winning 18 of them, before losing 1-0 at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on 4 April. Lewandowski has scored 46 goals in 45 outings for club and country this term.
Luka Modrić and Ramos are a booking away from a ban. Madrid are nine games unbeaten, winning seven of them.
Zidane’s men have scored in a Spanish record 52 successive fixtures (139 goals) in all competitions, bettering Barcelona’s run of 44 between 1942 and 1944. The 0-0 draw at Manchester City FC in the first leg of their 2015/16 UEFA Champions League semi-final was the last time the Madrid failed to score.
This game is certainly going to be tough but goals from both ends is inevitable.
PREDICTION: BAYERN MUNCHEN 2- REAL MADRID 2