Atletico Madrid face Bayern Munich in the first leg of the semi finals of the UEFA Champions League at the Vicente Calderon in a clash of contrasting philosophies between Diego Simeone and Pep Guardiola.
Atletico Madrid knocked out the defending Champions Barcelona 2-0 at the Vicente Calderón Stadium in their second leg to win the tie 3-2 on aggregate. The in-form Antoine Griezmann scored a brace for the Rojiblancos and that was enough to seal qualification into the semi finals.
Bayern Munich won their quarter final tie against Portuguese champions Benfica at the Estadio Da Luz, 3-2 on aggregate. Raul Jimenez opened the scoring for Benfica, but the Bavarian giants scored two goals in the space of 14 minutes, via Arturo Vidal and Thomas Müller to take the lead. Brazilian winger Talisca’s equalizer gave the Portuguese giants some hope, but it was enough for the Bavarians to get the win and move on to the semifinals.
Atletico Madrid are currently tied for 1st place in the La Liga with Barcelona, one point ahead of Real Madrid. However, unless Barcelona drop points in their last three games, Atletico will lose out due to head-to-head rules. They managed a narrow 1-0 victory against Malaga to stay alive in the title race as the La Liga shows no signs of relenting with the race for the title set to go down to the wire.
Bayern sit atop the Bundesliga, 7 points ahead Europa League semi finalist Borussia Dortmund. They go into this tie after an easy 0-2 win over Hertha Berlin. .
Possible Starting Lineups
Simeone’s men might have to do without the services of Deigo godin who is out with an injury to his hamstring. But his attacking options were boosted by the return of Fernando Torres after suspension.
Possible Starting XI (4-4-2): Jan Oblak; Juanfran, Savic, Hernandez, Luis; Gabi, Fernandez, Niguez, Torres, Griezmann, Koke
Bayern Munich will be will be without defenders Holger Badstuber, Benatia and Jerome Boateng for this tie. Winger Arjen Robben is set to miss out as well.
Possible Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Manuel Neuer; Alaba, Martinez, Kimmich, Lahm; Vidal, Costa, Ribery, Muller, Alonso, Lewandowski
- Bayern Munich have not registered a win in their last 7 away games in the knowckout stage of the Champions League.
- Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller has scored 15 times in his last 17 Champions League starts.
- Bayern Munich, have scored 28 goals in the Champions League. Twice as many goals as Atlético, who have 14 in this season..
- Atlético Madrid have not conceded in 13 of their last 15 Champions League matches at home. Benfica’s Guedes is the last player to have scored at Atlético’s ground, that was 429 minutes ago, in the group stages.
Atletico Madrid 1 – 0 Bayern Munich
Its going to be Bayern’s attack vs Atletico’s defence. Unlike Barcelona, Bayern are not overly reliant on their attacking trio of Messi, Neymar and Suarez. However, scoring at the Vicente Calderon is no easy task, as the stats show. If they manage to get an away goal, it would make their task a lot easier in front of their own fans at the Allianz Arena. For Atletico, opportunities are likely to come few and far between, so clinical finishing will be essential and they will look to a resurgent Torres and star player Antoinne Griezmann to continue their good form.
Odds (Paddy Power)
- Atletico Madrid Win : 9/5
- Draw : 11/5
- Bayern Munich Win : 13/8