The massive Champions League semi-final clash between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid sees two very successful and prestigious clubs going head-to-head. Both have won the European competition on a number of occasions and are looking to add another Champions League trophy into their long list of honours as a football club.
It’s time to look at the three important battles that could help to decide the fate of this huge fixture...
Robert Lewandowski vs Sergio Ramos
Since 2014, Robert Lewandowski has been the main focal point in attack for Bayern Munich and has individually won plenty of games for his team due to his incredible goal-scoring record as well as his profile as a complete forward. Currently on 40 goals in all competitions this season for club and country, the Polish hitman is experiencing another clinical campaign as he aims to help his side to progress to the Champions League final.
Lewandowski will be in for a physical and rough battle against Sergio Ramos, who is regarded as Real Madrid’s best central defender as well as one of the best defenders within Europe. The 32-year-old captain was sorely missed in the second leg of the quarter-final, where Los Blancos’ defence was exposed to nearly allow Juventus to complete a memorable comeback. With his experience and leadership huge for the side’s backline, Ramos’s return is more than important for the club.
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Mats Hummels
It’s no secret that Real Madrid’s deadliest and effective player in the final third is none other than Cristiano Ronaldo, an individual who comes alive on Champions League nights and has plenty of iconic moments in the competition over the last decade. Having won four Champions League medals so far in his career, one with Manchester United and three with Real Madrid, the Portuguese international will certainly be looking to expand his collection with another one as he moves towards the final years of his career.
Although his creativity and his pace have declined in recent seasons, Ronaldo’s movement in the box and his ability to score vital goals when it truly matters is second to none. He’ll most likely face Mats Hummels, who is seen as Bayern’s most composed and crucial defender. Given that the visitors will be looking to hurt the hosts by pressing high up the pitch or pouncing on their errors, Hummels will need to make sure that he is not caught out of position and that he is solid in one-on-one situations.
Thiago Alcantara vs Luka Modric
Despite being on the bad end of injuries from time to time which has resulted in him being on the sidelines for prolonged spells, Thiago Alcantara has remained fit and at the top of his game for Jupp Heynckes’ side since returning to full fitness in the middle of February. He has gone on to help his side by control and dominate games on a weekly basis in the middle of the pitch, which he has consistently been doing for many years that has allowed him to be recognised a complete central midfielder.
For Real Madrid, Luka Modric will be playing as a box-to-box midfielder and will be hoping that his number of abilities will limit Bayern’s midfield from advancing forward with ease as well as create clear-cut chances for the likes of Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. Season by season, the Croatian international has shown his intelligence and ability to read the game as he positions himself to be in the right place at the right time.
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