Real Madrid travel to the Allianz Arena on Wednesday to take on Bayern Munich, creating some exciting Champions League betting options for punters. This match will be the 25th time these sides have met, which extends the record they already possess for having the most common fixture in European competition.
The teams met in the quarter-finals last season, with Real getting through in extra time after both sides had won 2-1 on the road. These European giants have also met in the semi-finals in 2012 and 2014, with each side reaching the final once. These sides are also very experienced at this level.
Real Madrid are in the last four for the eighth season in a row, while Bayern are here for the seventh time in the last decade. What does the teams’ history tell us ahead of this tie? Bayern have been at home first in three of their last six semi-final first legs, and each time they’ve won the match and also subsequently progressed.
When Real are away in the first match, the outcome has been similar; they’ve lost three of four and gone out in each of those, only progressing when they got a 0-0 draw at Manchester City in 2016. Can Zinedine Zidane’s side end this run and win away in a semi-final first leg?
Los Blancos have won four of their five games on the road in this season’s Champions League. While they lost at Spurs, they had 10 shots on target and two clear-cut chances, so were perhaps unlucky not to get something. It’s also vital to bear in mind they’ve played Dortmund, Tottenham, PSG and Juventus, which makes their results look all the more impressive.
Bayern have won four of their five home games, and have only conceded one goal in the process. PSG aside, they haven’t faced anyone from the upper echelons of European football so far though. However, they are unbeaten at home in all competitions this season, which counts for a lot.
The German champions have the best expected goals difference at home in this year’s Champions League, and Real have the best away tally. When there’s so little to choose between them, it makes sense to look at recent history, and the home side has won nine of the last 12 semi-final first legs, so for that reason I favour Bayern. Matchbook have odds of even money for a home win on Wednesday night.
Whatever the outcome, there is usually plenty of goals when these two sides clash. The three meetings in Germany in the last six seasons have all had at least three goals, with both teams scoring in two of the matches. Those two games were the first legs where Bayern have been the home side.
In 2014 the first leg was in Madrid and Real won narrowly, by one goal to nil, but in light of the attacking prowess of both sides, it seems reasonable to expect goals here. The top online bookmakers expect both teams to score, and so do I. Black Type offer odds of 7/5 that at least one side fails to find the net, but just ½ that both teams score.
The latter definitely looks the right bet here. As does a flutter on there being at least three goals. 888sport have odds of 7/12 for over 2.5 goals, and it looks a worthwhile bet. It’s no surprise to see Robert Lewandowski is the favourite in the goal scorer market. He has scored six goals in six games against Real, albeit four came in one match when he scored all the goals in Dortmund’s 4-1 semi-final win in 2013.
Even so, he is Bayern’s top scorer in the Champions League this season, with four of his five goals coming at the Allianz Arena, and three of them being opening goals. Across his career, Lewandowski has 45 goals in the competition, and Ladbrokes have odds of 5/6 that he will add to his tally at any time, or 14/5 that his 46th Champions League goal is the opener.
Forty-five goals is impressive for mere mortals, and puts Munich’s main man in the competition’s top ten scorers, but Cristiano Ronaldo looks at that and laughs. Real’s talisman has scored 120 goals in the Champions League in his career, and has a record of nine goals from his six matches against Bayern. In 2017/18 he has bagged fifteen goals, with eight of them coming on the road.
Perhaps surprisingly only four of them have been opening goals, but there’s no doubt he’s the man to back here. Ronaldo is priced at 23/20 with Ladbrokes to get on the score sheet. In the past fourteen seasons, when won side has won first leg, they have reached the final 19 times out of 21. If either side comes out on top here, they will certainly have one foot in the final.
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