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Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich: Preview and Prediction

Neutral spectators are hoping that this UEFA Champions League (UCL) semi-final return leg will live up to the first, where Real Madrid and Bayern Munich played out an exhilarating 2-2 draw. Although Bayern has won four of the seven encounters between these two teams at this stage of the competition, Madrid has won the last two. This recent trend suggests that Los Blancos might have the upper hand.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men should approach this match with high spirits after clinching their 36th La Liga title last weekend with a 3-0 victory over Cadiz, capitalizing on Barcelona’s defeat. It marked their 37th win in competitions this season (10 draws, 2 defeats). With at least two goals scored in their last five matches at home, it seems Bayern will need a stellar performance from their attack to compete once more.

However, the Germans had a less than ideal weekend, suffering a 3-1 loss to Stuttgart. Despite fielding a much-changed starting lineup, the result did not improve their recent form, with four wins in nine matches (2 draws, 3 defeats). Moreover, Thomas Tuchel’s men have conceded two or more goals in eight of their last ten away matches across all competitions (3 wins, 2 draws, 5 defeats).

In this context, it’s understandable that Bayern enters this match as the underdog. Yet, their track record against Spanish teams suggests they should not be underestimated. They’ve only lost once in their last 12 matches against Spanish sides, both home and away (7 wins, 4 draws). However, they’ve lost six of their eight two-legged encounters against these teams.

Players to watch: Despite starting on the bench, Jude Bellingham scored his 22nd goal of the season last weekend for Madrid. In the UCL alone, he’s been involved in eight goals in nine matches (4 goals, 4 assists). His England teammate Harry Kane has scored five goals in Bayern’s last four matches, including three from penalties.

Hot stat: Former Bayern coach Ancelotti has never lost to his former team in nine encounters (6 wins, 3 draws).

Prediction:  Real Madrid 3-2 Bayern Munich

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