Real Madrid Seeks Seventh Consecutive Win vs. Bayern Munich

Martin Green

Sunday, April 29, 2018 8:52 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 29, 2018 8:52 PM UTC

Real Madrid’s Champions League semifinal clash against Bayern Munich on Tuesday is delicately poised after Los Blancos won the first leg 2-1 in Germany. 

Champions League Semifinals: Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich

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Real Madrid scored two crucial away goals in the first leg, but Bayern Munich is an extremely strong side, so this tie is by no means over entering Tuesday's game. Real Madrid enjoyed a 3-0 first-leg lead over Juventus in the previous round, but they almost blew it, needing a last-minute penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo to scrape through 4-3 on aggregate. That will give Bayern heart as they bid to overturn the deficit, and if they are more clinical in front of goal they stand a great chance of pulling it off.

Jupp Heyncke’s men enjoyed 60% of the possession and had 17 shots on goal in a dominant first-leg display, but still lost the game. They were uncharacteristically wasteful in front of goal, and the septuagenarian manager admitted: “We’ve rarely had so many chances to score and haven't done so, but we didn’t know how to take advantage of our opportunities.” Star striker Robert Lewandowski missed a couple of glorious chances, and the German champions failed to capitalise on their dominance. They were missing key men Manuel Neuer, David Alaba, Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman, and they lost winger Arjen Robben and defender Jerome Boateng to injury in the first half.

That gave them a mountain to climb against Real Madrid, which has now racked up six consecutive victories against Bayern Munich. They were as clinical as their opponents were wasteful: they had four shots on target and scored two of them. Zinedine Zidane’s men are battle hardened, and they are blessed with crucial experience when it comes to winning Champions League ties. They have already become the first team to win it twice in a row, and now they are favorites on the soccer odds board to win it for a third time on the bounce this season (+110 with William Hill).

They are the clear favorites to advance to the final at Bayern Munich’s expense, priced at -417 with Pinnacle, while Bayern is +347 to overcome the deficit and make it through. A draw would suit Real Madrid, as would a 1-0 defeat (which would see them through on the away goals rule), so there might be a temptation to sit back, soak up pressure and play a conservative game. But the riskiness of such an approach was highlighted in the previous round, when they allowed Juventus to attack and soon found themselves down 3-0, with the score 3-3 on aggregate. A late penalty sent Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon into fits of rage, but Ronaldo coolly dispatched it to send Real Madrid through by a whisker.

In the first leg against Bayern Munich, the Portuguese’s remarkable record of having scored in every Champions League game this season came to an end. He was unusually quiet, so he will be desperate to return to the limelight Tuesday as he stakes his claim for the coveted World Player of the Year title.

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s specific career goals:

Right Foot: 413 Goals ⚽️
‘Weak Foot’: 123 Goals ⚽️
Headers ✈️: 114 Goals ⚽️
Penalties 🎯: 103 Goals ⚽️
Free-Kicks 🚀: 52 Goals ⚽️
Hat-Tricks 🎩: 50 ⚽️⚽️⚽️

Living Legend 👑

— TheCristianoFan (@TheCristianoFan) April 29, 2018

He looks a great option to "score at any time" in this game (-175 with William Hill, -122 with smaller books). Real Madrid is superb going forwars, but they struggle at the back and often concede, so "both teams to score" looks like a really interesting option for your soccer picks. As for moneyline betting, it is difficult to call as Real Madrid does not necessarily need to win, but their six wins in a row against Bayern Munich is pretty emphatic, so the +117 that BetOnline has on a Real Madrid victory looks appealing.

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