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Two days to go until the big clash in Madrid. Both teams are facing some injury trouble though Madrid will be missing the bigger names : Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo will not be able to play. In Munich, there are still some doubts about Willy Sagnol though it seems that he will be able to play.
Bayern recently displayed a good form, Makaay is on fire, he hit two goals vs Leverkusen, Ballack and youngster Schweinsteiger showed some good performances, too ( though Schweinsteiger probably won't find himself in the starting lineup). Kahn wants to make up his fault from the first leg.

According to the local press, this is how the teams want to play :

Bayern
Kahn -
Sagnol, Kuffour, Kovac, Lizarazu -
Hargreaves, Ballack, Demichelis, Ze Roberto -
Pizarro, Makaay

Real
Casillas -
Salgado, Helguera, Pavon, Raul Bravo -
Figo, Beckham, Guti, Solari -
Zidane -
Raul

Real didn't show their best form lateley. IMHO, this clash is a 50/50 issue. The team which scores first will win it.
 

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I posted this earlier in the Bayern thread. Since a proper thread has been opened so here it is ...

UEFA Champions League

-----------------------------
--------Round-16------------
-----------------------------

March 10, 2004 - Wednesday


REAL MADRID CF --- Vs. --- FC BAYERN MÜNCHEN

----------------- 2nd LEG -------------------------


---- Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid - Espãna -------

Aggregate: 1-1

Preview

The death knell is approaching. One of Europe's great sides will be saying goodbye to the competition earlier than it should be. It is the inevitable reality of it all as two European Giants were paired together for a face-off in the Round of 16.

The beautiful game will become a cruel game for one side on Wednesday night in the Spanish Capital!

One side is hoping for a Minor Miracle to come to the home of the most successful club side in club football and eliminate them in their own backyard whereas the other side is hoping to finish off their nemesis and put the nail in the coffin to pronouce their death from the competition this season!

It is time for the culimnation of the saga where the Spanish Aristocrats face-off against their bitter rivals and nemesis ... the Bavarian Giants!

The biggest game of the UCL this season kicks-off with a thunderous and icy cold reception in the Bernabeu for the visitors on a warm Wednesday evening!! You will get chills down your spine and it is an event not to be missed for one and all!!

Get ready and fasten your seat belts as the most crucial game arguably for both clubs is hours away with the spine-tingling ending that could go either way. Both teams will enter the famed Bernabeu with their heads held up high but only ONE side will walk back the same way they came!


Real Madrid CF

Real Madrid were overrun and over-powered in their midfield battle with the German side and yet got their first 24 Karat Point in Munich! That is a sign of a class team! Credit where its due :star:

It was the first time in the last 8 attempts that Real had got anything from the stadium they most hate to visit! Previous 7 were all defeats.

Real drew first blood and now it is time to finish off the opponent with home advantage!! The slight problem is that FC Bayern is the last side to come here and defeat them in a knock-out! A test of nerves, patience, resilience awaits both sides!

Real Madrid have their fair share of CONCERNS ( :) ) to deal with right now as Luiz Nazario de Lima Ronaldo is out injured for a fortnight with a torn fibre in his left thigh! It is bad for the tie as such a grandeur tie deserves all the best possible players on the pitch!!

On the other hand Roberto Carlos is banned for two games for his sporting misconduct of having a go at Argentine Demichelis!! I am a staunch supporter of teams facing each other at full strength but when it comes to misconduct I don't care which club and which player but the punishment MUST be there!!!

The beautiful game can well do without sporting misconduct, elbows, dives and stepping on players!!

Figo, Beckham and Zidane If I'm not mistaken are all on yellow cards! They have to tread very carefully as one bad move will result in them missing the next European game. Add to that the absence of Ronaldo and Carlos and you have one too many 'Galacticos' missing!


Tactics / Formation

Queiroz for the first time will know the meaning of Pressure Point first hand. He is up against Ottmar 'The General' Hitzfeld who is tactically more astute. It was interesting to see the General going up against VDB coz Del Bosque was one hell of a superb coach!! Respect! :star:

There are selection headaches and tactical headaches for Queiroz and the pressure point will not be to pick the starting line-up. It will come IF things are not going right and Real are really up against the wall DURING THE GAME. That is where the true class of a coach shows!

Probable Line-Up
---------------------


-------------------------Casillas-----------------------
-
--Salgado-----Helguera------Mejia-------Bravo--
--
--------------Beckham---------Guti------------------
--
------Figo---------------Zidane--------------Solari
--
---------------------------Raul-----------------------


Since Carlos is not there a little shuffle that might occur is Bravo moving out. Now the selection can be btw Pavon over Mejia. Not sure about that.

In order to keep the left flank strong Solari should be given a nod to start as he had a good game against Ze Germans the last time they came here in the knock-out.

Beckham and Guti MUST raise the game or Real will be fighting too hard to win balls rather than play their free flow game and attack!!! Bayern has the edge in this department.

Up front Raul is the man who has to do it for his club!! More on that later ;) Portillo is not fully fit and this stage is better left for the club captain.

One area where Real has to improve is the set-pieces. Though they scored a goal from a set piece thanx to a gift wrapped goal from the goalie who won the UCL for his club in that extra lengthy shoot-out (17 kicks) in the Stadio San Siro in 2001.

Real had a good number of corners in Munich but didn't do anything with them. Tight games can well do with set piece conversions and they must capitalize on that area.


FC Bayern München

Bayern played the best game of their season undoubtedly when they took Real by surprise and controlled the game in totality from start to finish. The key ingredient lacking in that performance was their poor finishing! Other than that it was a very healthy performance by a Bayern side that people have written off for one reason or another!

Bayern have an almost fully fit squad. The only two concerns are Willy Sagnol who once again had an excellent game. He broke his arm (elbow) in the 3-1 win over Leverkusen. A metal plate has been inserted with six screws and a cast will be put over it! The thing is that how efficient can he be with the cast.

Lizarazu had a similar injury to Ronaldo and he is up and running in 12 days. He could make the starting line-up.

Bayern is cornered and the only way out for them is to aim for a historic win here just like they did in 2001 except that time it was the first leg.

As far as I can recall Bayern has not lost two consecutive games in the Bernabeu. Makes this an interesting tie to say the least!

Bayern have been downplaying this tie unlike last time when their cockiness cost them big time! Hitzfeld and Ballack both mentioned that it will take a minor miracle to get the result for Bayern but it can be done. Rummenigge also stated that for Bayern to go through Real will need to have two very bad days.


Tactics / Formation



Probable Line-Up
---------------------

-----------------------Kahn-------------------------
--
-Sagnol-------Kuffour----Kovac-----Lizarazu
--
---------------Ballack-----Demichelis-------------
---Hargreaves-------------------------Ze Roberto
--
---------------Pizarro-------Makaay---------------

This is the side that started and I think the same side will start. The only change might be Hasan Salihamidzic starting at left back for Lizarazu. Hasan had a good game so he could be in the running for a starting spot.

Bayern's only complaint from the game will be their poor finishing. I can't imagine a Bayern side playing like that again and not scoring. The question is how much will Real improve and how much worse will Bayern get as this is a different venue?

Bayern have lost here twice by a 2-0 margin. The time they won 0-1 was due to their phenomenal back four that was up for it plus the small fact that Helguera sent a sitter of a header wide just like Makaay did in the first leg!

This side is the best Bayern side in terms of OFFENCE visiting Madrid hence they are likely to score.

Key Battles

Hitzfeld Vs. Queiroz
------------------------

Hitzfeld had the upper hand over his counterpart only for a late howler by Kahn to give Queiroz some reprieve. It will be a tough battle for Queiroz but an inriguing one nonetheless.


Ballack Vs. Beckham
-------------------------

Ballack won hands down. Beckham has to be given credit because he is doing a job that is not natural to him. He can't be criticized because what he lacks in skill he is making that up with his work rate and hard work. DM is not his alley.

Hargreaves Vs. Zidane
-----------------------------

Zidane had a silent game. He is having these patches of inconsistency this season. He can win a game on his own but he can be invisible for it as well. The Madrid crowd will spur him on and he may rise to the occasion. Hargreaves will have his hands full.


Kuffour Vs. Raul
--------------------

Solid in the first leg. Kept Ron in check. Raul didn't do nothing as well but then again Raul doesn't do nothing in Munich EVER. This will be a test for Kuffour as Raul is different in this tie when it is in Madrid.


Makaay Vs. Helguera
--------------------------

He loves Spanish sides. He did damage in the first leg and could've done more damage. Real will once again have trouble to control one of the most underrated yet special strikers in the beautiful game today!



KEY MEN

IKER CASILLAS
------------------

Raul is having a dip in form. This type of stage is made for him so it could well be his night. Even if it turn out to be his night the key man for Real is the unsung hero Iker Casillas.

Ronaldo and Casillas have been superb for Real this season. One is not there. Casillas is going to be playing maybe one of the most important games of this season for Real. He saved Real in the last 5 mins of that 2002 CL final with stunning and shocking saves!!! :cool: He will need to spread that kind of performance to 90 mins for Real.

The key to Real's success over Bayern has been their home turf and the ability to prevent Bayern from scoring in Madrid. This Bayern side has goalscorers spread out and are more dangerous on the offensive front hence Iker has to be concentrated to carry his side to the quarter-finals!


MICHAEL BALLACK
-----------------------

Ballack is getting closer and closer to a goal in the UCL. His shooting from range has been on target as he is one of the best in the department. One of these days he is going to launch a screamer that will end up in the goal.

He is much more settled with good midfield displays and has to lead the Bayern side to a historic win in Madrid. Much depends on his performance because if he has a strong showing in the game then Beckham and Guti will have a tough time and give Bayern the edge that they missed in past seasons due to Makelele and Helguera present in midfield.

He knows it is an important game and a dangerous Ballack performance might just be on the cards!



Prediction

As soon as the draw was made I thought Real got a bad draw and would be eliminated by Bayern. Many events have taken place to this point. Nothing has happened that makes me think that Bayern is out of this tie. Not even the 1-1 draw as I was expecting a draw in Munich in the first case.

I still think that Bayern will eliminate Real Madrid as I did when the draw was made.

Real did get a point in Munich but I thought they did themselves harm by doing just that. Last time Real controlled the tie in Munich only to lose it 2-1 in the end. Bayern came to Madrid to defend the lead until two goals in the second half sealed their fate.

This time they are not coming here to defend a lead. It is deliverance! They deliver the goods or say bye bye to the UCL! A different mindset altogether.

Real is undefeated in the UCL this season. Its been a while since they lost at home which was AS ROMA who nailed them 0-1 through a Totti goal.

Drawing the first game away from home (1-1) is not exactly calm as the storm is just around the corner. Just ask Juventus FC (1999 : 2-3 vs. Man U in Turin) & FC Barcelona (2003 : 1-2 vs. Juventus FC).

Rude awakening is what I am feeling and a famous Bayern win in Madrid coming on Wednesday night. It might even go to extra time but Real have a tougher cookie on their hands than they realize. Not to forget that Real are undefeated in 7 games which is the normal breaking point for the coming of a first defeat.

--> Bayern to advance at the cost of Real! :eek:
 

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Nice preview Harron :thumbsup:

Just like a couple years ago, Sagnol will play crippled like Elber :cool: . Madrid are weakened and I was impressed by Bayern in the weekend.

GO BAYERN!!! :fero:
 

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All the teams I supported in this CL eliminated...BJK, Galatasaray, Juve...

Now I will support Real Madrid!:)
 

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congrats, tough hard 2 legs!

best of luck!
 
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