Bayern Munich will face Spanish giants Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, the best possible scenario for the Bavarians.
For the second consecutive year, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid will face-off in the UEFA Champions League. The Spanish side, winners of the competition for the past two years, are consistently one of the toughest teams in Europe.
Despite their domestic failings this season, Cristiano Ronaldo and co. have been sure to show up for all their big European matches. They could very well be on their way to an historic third consecutive Champions League victory. But Bayern Munich have the chance to ensure that doesn’t happen.
It was too predictable, really, that Bayern would draw Real in the semi-final. It seemed inevitable.
However, facing Real Madrid in the semi-finals could be the best possible scenario for the rekordmeisters. Let me explain.
Real Madrid are not a club to be taken lightly. With some of the most talented and experienced players in the world, there’s no club they can’t beat on their day. Furthermore, los Blancos have a tendency to step up to the big occasion, meaning they’re always a danger in Champions League play.
With that in mind, it’d be much better to face them in a two-legged tie than in a one-off final. Especially since Bayern will host the first leg at the Allianz Arena, the Bavarians have a much greater advantage in the competition than they otherwise would facing Real Madrid in Kiev.
If Jupp Heynckes and co. can pull off a solid win at home, and hopefully keep a clean sheet, then things start to look much more positive for the return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu. That’s not to say it will be easy. But — as Juventus recently showed and La Liga has been proving all season — Real Madrid’s defense is susceptible to goals, even in front of their home crowd.
If Bayern build up a strong enough advantage at home, Real will be forced to attack when back in Madrid, leaving even more gaps in their defense for the Bavarian attack to exploit.
A two-legged tie against Real Madrid certainly won’t be easy, but it will be more manageable than a final against the back-to-back winners.
Liverpool and Roma square off in the other Champions League tie. Surely it’d be better for Bayern Munich to face either of them instead of Real Madrid? Not exactly.
The situation with Jurgen Klopp’s men is about the opposite of that with Real Madrid. Bayern will be much better off facing Liverpool in a potential final than going up against them in a two-legged tie.
The Bavarians are more talented and more experienced than the English side. A one-off match between the two of them in a neutral location is much more manageable than a semi-final tie. Bayern will avoid playing in Anfield (arguably Liverpool’s most influential “player,” behind Mo Salah), and their greater advantage in terms of experience in big matches will be massive.
Roma, the other club left in the Champions League, are perhaps the weakest team left in the competition. And that’s exactly why it’s good that the Bavarians won’t be facing them in the semi-final.
Bayern have had it rather easy in Europe this season. After finishing second in their group, they were awarded a draw with Besiktas, then Sevilla. Neither of those clubs really had much of a chance in this competition.
Facing Roma in the semi-finals would be yet another relatively easy tie for the Bavarians. That, combined with the fact that the Bundesliga title is already wrapped up, would lead the club dangerously close to complacency. Furthermore, it’d mean they’d approach the final in Kiev without having faced a top European club in months.
Walking into a Champions League final relatively untested for such a long period of time is not ideal. Facing Real Madrid in the semi-finals will require Bayern Munich to remain 100 percent focused over the next several weeks. There’s absolutely no room for complacency.