The first leg was a reminder that Cristiano Ronaldo can still be the best in the world on his day, as he scored for the first time in the Champions League in six matches. His two goal performance, including tempting Javi Martinez into two yellows within three minutes, has Bayern facing the prospect of winning by a 2-0 or better scoreline to advance. Gareth Bale has been confirmed out with an injury, which may see Isco make the starting eleven instead. The 24 year old Spaniard put on a stunning performance against Sporting Gijon this weekend, scoring two, including an 89th minute winner. Meanwhile, each of Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski could be back for Bayern, after all three missed the first leg through injury. Manuel Neuer was at the top of his game in the first leg, making several saves that ensured the scoreline created a manageable second leg in Madrid. Now, Bayern will have no choice but to push forward, which could leave them exposed at the back and an opportunity for Neuer heroics.
The record-holding 11 time winners will defend their current trophy without the usual summertime Galactico business. But, when your squad includes the likes of Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema, finally finding consistency is a positive. We have yet to see Zinedine Zidane take a full season at the helm with all the pressure the toughest gig in management provides - how he responds to turbulent times will determine the length of his tenure. The expectations for this squad are the same as every season: win every trophy they compete for. With their aforementioned attacking prowess bolstered by a reliable defense, they could do just that.
Bayern last won the Champions League in 2013 and have since watched the trophy stay in Spain for three straight years, despite Pep leading them to four straight Bundesliga titles and the German national team atop international football. New manager Carlo Ancelotti’s charge is clear - get the Champions League trophy back to Munich. They’re bolstered by the additions of former Dortmund captain Mats Hummels and the Euros’ breakout young star, Renato Sanches. After losing in the semi-finals last year on away goals to Atletico Madrid, the German giants will be motivated to get back on top.
Averages over a goal a game for Real, having scored 261 in 237 appearances.
The 33 year-old defender has frustrated and annoyed opponents for over 215 matches with Real.
Equal parts bruiser and magician, Vidal won Serie A in each of his four seasons at Juventus.
Scored 42 goals in all competitions last season and began the new Bundesliga season with a hat trick.