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Cautious Madrid face bullish Bayern

Published: Tuesday 22 April 2014, 19.35CET
Carlo Ancelotti set out a cautious approach for a Real Madrid CF team hoping to have Cristiano Ronaldo fit, and FC Bayern München's Josep Guardiola keen to face him.
by Iñigo Marín
from Madrid
Cautious Madrid face bullish Bayern
Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and Gareth Bale both trained on Tuesday ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

Real MadridBayern

Goals scored41
 
24
Possession (%)51
 
49
Total attempts208
 
230
on target127
 
149
off target81
 
81
blocked0
 
0
against woodwork5
 
7
Corners62
 
98
Offsides34
 
31
Yellow cards24
 
15
Red Cards1
 
2
Fouls committed126
 
134
Fouls suffered161
 
140
Passes8480
 
9575
completed6678
 
7948

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)
 
Published: Tuesday 22 April 2014, 19.35CET

Cautious Madrid face bullish Bayern

Carlo Ancelotti set out a cautious approach for a Real Madrid CF team hoping to have Cristiano Ronaldo fit, and FC Bayern München's Josep Guardiola keen to face him.

Real Madrid CF must be compact defensively and "take control" of their home encounter with FC Bayern München if they are to lay a platform to reach the UEFA Champions League final for the first time since 2002.

Above all, Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is seeking a balance between trying to establish a lead to take to Bavaria next Tuesday and remaining vigilant at the back in the first leg of the sixth European Cup semi-final between the teams. Josep Guardiola is hopeful that injury doubt Cristiano Ronaldo will play for a side he knows very well from his time at FC Barcelona, though he described that as "another club at another time and in another situation."

Madrid
Carlo Ancelotti, coach
We need to work hard, stay compact in defence and take control of the game in order to show our quality. We are in an important semi-final and we are more driven than anyone to win this competition, which is an advantage and a great motivation for us, not an obsession.

We are not going to try and stop the opposition from playing; we will try and use our quality to win. Balance, as always, is fundamental and we have to be compact across the pitch.

We are only thinking about the match. They may be a nemesis for Madrid, but not for me. I am confident in my team and in my players. We are not only thinking about [Franck] Ribéry, we're thinking about the team as a whole. Despite everything, we are focusing on our own team. This is the most important thing for coping with the pressure.

We're playing against a very strong team. It does not matter if people think we're not the favourites. We'll do the best possible and the best side will win. My goal is to play in the final. We have to fight hard against a tough team, but reaching four semi-finals in a row is not bad.

Weekend result
No game

• Madrid have not played since 16 April, when a solo goal from Gareth Bale, his fifth strike in as many games, earned a 2-1 victory against FC Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final. It is the 19th time the Merengues have lifted the trophy.

Team news
Cristiano Ronaldo, out with knee and hamstring problems since 2 April, will undergo a fitness test on Wednesday. "If he is well he'll play, but if there is a risk of a relapse he won't," said Ancelotti. Bale has recovered from the flu while Marcelo, who has been sidelined with hamstring trouble, "is not 100%". He will start on the bench, with Fábio Coentrão starting. Álvaro Arbeloa and Jesé Rodríguez are out with knee injuries.

Bayern
Josep Guardiola, coach

I'm always very happy to play a Champions League semi-final and come to Madrid with a team like Bayern. We need to play well and get a result.

My stats at the Bernabéu were with another club at another time and in another situation. It has nothing to do with Bayern. If we win we will have to put on a very good performance. Madrid are always special, with this coach or another, with these players or with others. They are the toughest of opponents who are always lurking in the semi-finals. They have a great coaching staff.

I hope [Ronaldo] plays. We play for people who want to see the best. He is among the best. If he doesn't play, they play in a different way. They can play 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, as in the Copa del Rey final.

Cristiano is a goalscorer, Isco gives you more control and possession, [Karim] Benzema gives you stability, [Sergio] Ramos, Xabi [Alonso] and [Luka] Modrić can play the ball from the back ... and with Bale, Cristiano, [Ángel] di María and Benzema, they can kill with space. We'll try to attack and defend as we always do.

It is very difficult to win the Champions League. The great teams are always here. I'm very proud of my team. We won the Bundesliga in March, we are in the [German] Cup final and in the semi-finals of the Champions League. It's not easy and we've won games playing well. We have been consistent, though down a bit recently, but I'm happy with the last game because we did not play well, but recovered our team spirit.

Weekend result
Saturday: TSV Eintracht Braunschweig 0-2 Bayern (Pizarro 75, Mandžukić 86)
Raeder; Lahm (Weiser 87), Dante, Javi Martínez, Boateng; Schweinsteiger, Robben (Mandžukić 73), Højbjerg, Götze, Ribéry (Müller 73); Pizarro.

• Bayern ended a three-game winless league run since clinching the title at Hertha BSC Berlin on 25 March. They reached their domestic cup final last Wednesday, beating 1. FC Kaiserslautern 5-1 to set up a Borussia Dortmund showdown in Berlin on 17 May.

Team news
David Alaba was unavailable at the weekend due to illness, while Thiago Alcántara (knee), Diego Contento (foot) and Xherdan Shaqiri (thigh) will not feature in the Spanish capital. Manuel Neuer missed the weekend game with a calf injury but is optimistic of facing Madrid. Lukas Raeder filled in for Neuer on Saturday as Tom Starke was out with an elbow injury.

Match fact
The sides have met in five European Cup semi-finals with Bayern prevailing in 1976, 1987, 2001 and 2012; Madrid's sole win came in 2000.

Last updated: 22/04/14 21.47CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000482/match=2011880/prematch/preview/index.html#madrid+bayern+preview

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