Football

Bayern's home record on the line

Bayern Munich plan on making home advantage count in their Champions League semi-final, second-leg clash against Real Madrid tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

The action will unfold in the hothouse atmosphere of the Allianz Arena and the Spanish giants have been reminded constantly all week that Bayern have never lost at home to the Spanish giants.

Real hold a 1-0 lead after Karim Benzema's 19th-minute goal sealed a first-leg win last week in Madrid and they are looking to avenge their defeat at the same stage to Bayern two years ago.

History is on the German team's side.

Bayern boast eight victories and one draw in nine meetings with Real in Munich, and lead the overall series with 11 wins to Madrid's eight from 21 encounters.

The second-leg is finely poised.

Real maintained their positive momentum since beating Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final before their first-leg victory over Bayern by romping to a 4-0 win over Osasuna in the Spanish league on Saturday.

Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo proved his fitness for the Munich date after a hamstring injury by scoring twice to leave him on 47 goals for the season.

Real coach Carlo Ancelotti rested stars Benzema, who picked up a knee knock in the first leg, and Gareth Bale, who was recovering from flu, at Osasuna.

The Italian has insisted both men should be fit to start.

"I am sure that whatever 11 I play will be full of desire and excited to play such a big game," said Ancelotti.

CONFIDENT

"Everyone should be calm because we are going to prepare properly.

"I have great confidence in the players and I think everyone else should as well.

"If Bale, Benzema and Cristiano are well, they will play and our first intention is to score, rather than defend."

Bayern are bidding to become the first side to retain the Champions League trophy and will be the first team since Juventus (1996-98) to reach three consecutive finals if they get past Real to reach the final in Lisbon on May 24.

In contrast, Real are desperate to reach their first final since winning the title in 2002, having bowed out at the semi-final stage for the last three seasons running. - AFP.


"The Arena in Munich will be on fire.
All 11 players on the pitch and seven on the bench will give everything and we have lots of confidence."
- Bayern forward Arjen Robben


"There's no special plan.
We know how they play anyway - they like to have the ball and take their time to attack.
We’re used to these kind of games where the
small details make the difference."
- Real striker Karim Benzema

Champions League