Madrid, Apr 28: Spanish club Real Madrid travel to Munich Monday to prepare for their Champions League semi-final return leg against Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena Tuesday night.
Apart from Pepe, who didn’t play at the weekend, Carlo Ancelotti has no fresh injury worries, other than long term absentees Alvaro Arbeloa, Jese Rodriguez and Sami Khedira and he will have been happy to see Gareth Bale in full training Sunday after the Welshman missed Saturday’s 4-0 win at home to Osasuna through injury, reports Xinhua.
Cristiano Ronaldo played the first hour of that match before being substituted, scoring two magnificent goals in the process and he will be Real Madrid’s main weapon in Munich as Ancelotti’s side look once again to dismantle Bayern’s passing game on the counter-attack.
Real Madrid saw only a fraction of the ball compared to their German rivals last week, but the fact is that with more clinical finishing they could have taken a bigger lead to Munich which would have all but assured their place in the Champions League final next month.
As things stand, Real Madrid will now have to withstand what promises to be a pressure-cooker atmosphere in the Allianz Arena, after Bayern president, Franz Beckenbauer promised they would “even burn the trees” to turn the ground into a hell for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid suffered in a similar atmosphere in their quarterfinal against Borussia Dortmund, but in that case they took a 3-0 lead to Germany and although the 0-2 defeat they suffered in the return leg will be cause for concern, it is also true that Ronaldo was missing for that game.
If Bale is fully fit (and he was wearing a big bandage around his calf Sunday) then he will go straight into a side that will have Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in attack with Angel Di Maria, Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric in midfield and Fabio Coentrao, Sergio Ramos, Rafael Varene (or Pepe) and Dani Carvajal in defence and Iker Casillas in goal.
No surprises then from Ancelotti, who looks to take Real Madrid one step closer to that much desired 10th European Cup.