Bayern Munich facing elimination in Champions League Quarter Finals

 

Few observers predicted any surprises when the Champions League quarter final draw was made last month, but after last week’s first legs one of the bookies’ favourites, Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich, are facing premature elimination.

Three of the four ties are delicately poised, Barcelona should sail through after their convincing 3-1 win in Paris last week, but it is the prospect of FC Porto defeating the Bundesliga runaway leaders that has gripped the neutrals.

 

Champions League Outright Betting Odds:

Barcelona 27/20

Real Madrid 7/2

Bayern Munich 7/2

(All odds provided by AllYouBet.ag are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

The Portuguese club, winners in 2004, were outstanding in victory last Wednesday, with the rejuvenated Ricardo Quaresma scoring twice in the opening 10 minutes, before Jackson Martinez extended their lead in the second half after Thiago Alcantara’s away goal. For all of Porto’s quality, Bayern were generous in defeat, gifting away all three goals through glaring individual errors from Xabi Alonso, Dante and Jerome Boateng.

The 2013 champions have been one of the form sides in this season’s competition, with Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk both on the wrong end of seven goal thrashings from the Bavarians, but they must win by at least a two goal margin to progress to a fourth consecutive semi final appearance. It says much about the expectations in modern football that two seasons without a Champions League trophy is unthinkable for a coach as feted as Guardiola.

 

With a mounting injury list that includes Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Javi Martinez and Mehdi Benatia, this could prove one uphill struggle too far for Pep. With Barcelona overwhelming favourites to finish the job against Paris Saint Germain on Tuesday night at the Nou Camp, attention turns to Wednesday’s two fixtures where there remains everything to play for.

Atletico and Real Madrid played out a tense goalless draw at the Calderon last week, and will line up at the Bernabeu for their eighth meeting this season. They say that familiarity breeds contempt, and that was certainly the case given the needle on show between the two Madrid clubs last week. Real’s failure to score an away goal could cost them more than Atletico’s failure to ram home the home advantage, especially with Luka Modric and Gareth Bale likely to miss out through injury.

 

Atletico have shown they are the masters of the two-leg format under Diego Simeone, beating Real twice in this scenario already this season in both the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup. They have form, too, for turning a 0-0 first leg at home into a two-legged victory, as their 3-1 semi final win at Stamford Bridge last year so ruthlessly demonstrated.

Last season’s Final defeat in Lisbon remains Atletico’s only loss in their last 10 European matches against Spanish rivals and, in Antoine Griezmann, they have one of Europe’s most in-form players; the French international has six goals in his last five games. With history against Real in their bid to become the first side to retain the Champions League, Atletico look a good prospect to upset their city rivals once again.

 

In the final quarter final clash, Juventus have a single goal lead to defend in Monaco thanks to Arturo Vidal’s penalty in Turin last week, though the winning margin should have been higher given the wastefulness of Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morata. The Serie A leaders are the stronger side on paper, and with the principality club required to open up at home in pursuit of goals, they will be easier to pick off than the side that came to defend in Italy. As Arsenal showed in their 2-0 win there in the Last 16, when the onus is on the Ligue 1 club at home they can become vulnerable, despite their excellent defensive record at the Stade Louis II.

With three results still all to play for, this week’s second legs clashes remain on a knife edge. The prospect of seeing this season’s Big Four – Barcelona, Bayern, Juventus and Real – in the semi finals remains a very real prospect, but nothing can be taken for granted.

 

Betting Instinct tip – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich all to win their home legs is 3.26 with Intertops.eu

JamesDutton JAMES DUTTON is a freelance journalist who has written for The Mirror, The Guardian and The Times. James helps to  run The False Nine football website, contributes to The Anfield Wrap and is a columnist for uMAXit Football. Follow him on Twitter.

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Dortmund or Bayern? Who’ll win the clash of the German titans in the DFB Pokal Final?

Dortmund celebrate Marco Reus' goal in the 3-0 win over Bayern in the league last month

Dortmund celebrate Marco Reus’ goal in the 3-0 win over Bayern in the league last month

The domestic season in Germany comes to a close this evening with the DFB Pokal final as Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich clash at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin in their second final meeting in a year. Their last clash in a final came a year ago at Wembley as Bayern Munich scored late to secure a 2-1 victory over Jurgen Klopp’s men to lift the Champions League trophy in celebration, now will they add the DFB Pokal trophy to their runaway Bundesliga victory tonight in Munich?

Dortmund v Bayern Betting Odds (Normal Time Only):

Borussia Dortmund – 3.20

Draw – 3.30

Bayern Munich – 1.99

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Dortmund have had a great time of things in the DFB Pokal this season as they are yet to concede a goal in the competition as they have all but steamrolled everyone in their path en route to this evening’s final against their biggest rivals. Only a second round match against 1860 Munich saw them need extra time to progress, but they have built from the back and they’ll be desperate to get revenge, however small in comparison, for the Champions League final loss last season. They ended the season with seven wins and one draw in their last eight games, including beating Real Madrid 2-0 as they almost came back from a 3-0 first leg loss to send the Spaniards crashing out, and winning 3-0 at the Allianz Arena against Bayern. Can they extend their unbeaten run to nine tonight?

Bayern may have runaway with the league in Germany this season as they took the title in record time, but once they had nothing left to play for they lost their way a little. Their final 12 matches of the season saw four losses and two draws, including suffering defeats to Real Madrid in the semi finals of the Champions League. They have been hit and miss at the end of this season, but the quality is still there and a cup final is sure to bring it to the fore and they will want set down a marker for next season, but with them being so inconsistent it is difficult to be sure about which side we will see tonight.

The teams have already faced each other on three occasions this season and both teams have claimed 3-0 away wins, with Bayern winning at Dortmund in November and Dortmund repeating the feat a month ago. The other match saw them clash at the start of the season in the Super Cup as Bayern were ripped apart in a 4-2 defeat in Pep Guardiola’s first match. I feel that this match will have an end of season feel to it as both sides look to close out 2013/14 campaigns in style with some attacking football and with their being 12 goals in the three meetings already this season I can see goals this evening. If pushed, I feel that Dortmund will win this trophy tonight, but the value is to be had on goals at the Olympic Stadium.

Back there to be at least four goals on the Three Goals No Bet market in this DFB Pokal Final between Dortmund and Bayern tonight @ 1.91 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Champions League semi-finals: Goals on Tuesday, tight and tense on Wednesday

Chelsea's Fernando Torres will hope to feature against his former club

Chelsea’s Fernando Torres will hope to feature against his former club

 

Four teams are just one match away from the 2014 UEFA Champions League final. Neither of the first legs were riveting affairs as the teams made sure they didn’t lose the tie before it had really begun. That should lend itself to more attacking football in both of this week’s return matches.

Real Madrid are the only team with a telling advantage over the two clashes. Having never lost to Bayern Munich as manager of AC Milan, winning four and drawing two of the six previous clashes, Carlo Ancelotti had a clear and evident game plan for stopping the reigning European Champions. The Madrid side kept bodies at the back, restricted Munich’s space on the ball and looked to hit them on the break.

 

Bayern Munich v Real Madrid Betting Odds:

Bayern Munich to qualify – 2.42

Real Madrid to qualify – 1.60

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

The pace in the Madrid side, exemplified by a swift move that lead to a chance for Cristiano Ronaldo in the first half, will be a real worry for Bayern Munich. Madrid can move up the pitch in a matter of seconds, having made no more than a handful of passes.

Teams arriving to the Allianz Arena and setting up to frustrate Bayern Munich is nothing new. The German giants have been gifted the lion’s share of possession by many visitors in recent seasons. However, they don’t usually have to worry about the likes of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale being poised and ready to do damage at the other end.

 

Bayern Munich have to score. Real Madrid will be licking their lips at the prospect of an away goal that will leave Guardiola’s side needing three. Both teams will attack and we should see the goals that were missing from the first leg. Bayern playing on the front foot will play nicely into Madrid’s hands. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that the Spanish side will want to soak up as much pressure as they can, while breaking at speed when given the chance.

An early goal then it could spark the two teams into playing out a goal fest. Otherwise, we may just have to hold on for a frantic finish.

However, I think we might be lucky to see more than a couple of goals in Wednesday’s decider between Chelsea and Atlético Madrid.

 

Chelsea v Atlético Madrid Betting Odds:

Chelsea to qualify – 1.93

Atlético Madrid to qualify – 1.88

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

José Mourinho’s team went to Spain last week with the intention of nicking a 1-0 win. However, after losing both Petr Cech and John Terry to injury, the plan was re-evaluated to focus purely on retaining their clean sheet.

The result retained Chelsea’s recent unbeaten run in the Champions League against Spanish sides. They have won six and draw 10 of their last 16 against teams from La Liga. However, a draw won’t be good enough for the Blues on Wednesday night.

Without an away goal, Mourinho needs to mastermind a victory. Although don’t hold your breath hoping for a rip-roaring, rampaging brand of football.

 

In the last week Mourinho has employed tactics in two matches that have been all about earning the result. Tuesday’s 0-0 draw was followed up by a near perfect display on Sunday as Chelsea secured a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Liverpool in a match that blew the Premier League title race wide open. Neither performance has been the prettiest but Mourinho has never been a manager to be expansive in a clinch contest.

The Blues’ record at Stamford Bridge in Europe is exceptional. They have never lost a semi-final leg in any European competition at home, winning eight of 12.

Atlético Madrid should expect a frustrating evening. Chelsea will be well drilled and concentrated. The La Liga leaders, who may just have on eye on a potential title win this weekend, won’t be able to create too many chances against the London side. They’ll need to take at least one of them, and as early as possible, to force Chelsea into something other than shutting the game down.

 

Whereas we’d think the game in Germany could produce a hatful of goals, the clash in London will be settled by the odd goal. Jose taking on his former club in the final is our bet but with armfuls of match winners on show, all four teams will feel confident of getting the result they need.

 

Betting Instinct tip – Wednesday promises to be a tight affair, and Chelsea to win 1-0 is available at 6.20 with GR88.com

 

Ryan avatarRyan Keaney (ryankeaney) is a huge sports fan who spends most of his week toying around with sports data. He is the editor of www.thefootballproject.net and a co-editor for In Bed with Maradona.

Will Real’s 1-0 lead over Bayern be enough to see them reach the Champions League Final?

Karim Benzema celebrates scoring the winning goal in the first leg of this semi final.

Karim Benzema celebrates scoring the winning goal in the first leg of this semi final.

While the Champions League Semi Final between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid was expected in many parts to be an explosive goal filled extravaganza, the first leg at the Bernabeu last week was far from that. Real scored early through French striker Karim Benzema, but no more goals appeared in the final 70 minutes of the game as the Spaniards claimed the advantage with a 1-0 win. The big question is will a one goal advantage be enough to bring to the Allianz Arena this Tuesday night?

Bayern Munich v Real Madrid Odds:

Bayern – 1.70

Draw – 3.90

Real – 4.30

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Although they failed to score a goal in the first leg of this final four match in the Champions League last week, Bayern were the dominant side as they controlled much of the possession during the match in the Spanish capital. However, their final ball was completely missing and they rarely tested Iker Casillas in the home goal. They will feel that they cannot play much worse in the final third this week and the only way is up. Bayern have, however, suffered defeats on home soil to Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena this season, albeit in dead rubber games, and Real are certainly a better side than both of these teams. With it do or die time for the opportunity for retain their Champions League crown how will the hosts fare in this must win game?

Real will be reasonably happy with their endeavours last week as their performance sees them ahead at the halfway stage of the tie. They were second best in the ball retention area last week as they finished the match with just 36% possession yet they were better in every other area. They created three clear cut chances in the first half and converted one of these to secure victory while they prevented Bayern from creating any serious chances too. With both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale likely to start for Real this Tuesday evening Carlo Ancelotti’s men will fancy their chances at progression, but can their defensive unit survive a 90 minute German onslaught?

With this tie poised the way it is at the midpoint, I believe that this second leg is more likely to see the goals that were lacking last week. Real know that pushing for a goal will see the Germans needing three to progress if they do find the net, while Bayern will want to keep things tight at the back while improving on their performance in front of goal. The game will see Bayern dominant possession once again and likely win this match, but whether they can win by enough to progress is the big question and is one that I feel could go either way by the full time whistle.

Back Bayern to beat Real and there to be at least 2.5 goals in the match @ 2.40 with GR88.com

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Champions League: Returning Ronaldo can give Real first-leg lead

Can Cristiano Ronaldo add to his 14 goals in 8 Champions League games this season?

Can Cristiano Ronaldo add to his 14 goals in 8 Champions League games this season?

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to return for the first leg of Real Madrid’s semifinal match against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. The 29-year who missed the Copa Del Rey final against Barcelona has been suffering from an apparent hamstring injury but returned to full training a few days ago. Gareth Bale, the hero of the final against Barcelona, was reported earlier this week to be suffering from the effects of the flu, but he has also seemingly recovered in time to welcome Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich to the Bernabeu.

 

Real Madrid v Bayern Munich Betting Odds:

Real Madrid win – 2.38

Bayern Munich win – 2.74

Draw – 3.30

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

Real Madrid enter the game aiming for their first Champions League final berth in 12 years, though they have famously won the trophy nine times so far. History is not on the side of Los Blancos as they have lost four out of the last five semi-final matches against Bayern and Guardiola was also responsible for breaking the stranglehold of Real Madrid in Spain –not losing in any of six visits to the Bernabeu– during his time at Barcelona. Though most of the team is healthy for Madrid, Marcelo is set to miss out, leaving Fabio Coentrao to start in his place and Álvaro Arbeloa’s injury woes means that Daniel Carvajal will retain his starting spot. These issues leave Real Madrid vulnerable in Bayern’s strongest position, the wings, where Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry ply their trade.

Real Madrid’s last match in the Champions League suggests that they will have a hard time dealing with the pace of Bayern, as they were exploited by Borussia Dortmund’s pace numerous times as they went on to lose 2-0 to the Germans in the second leg of their quarter-final. While they were able to hold on and progress, the loss against Dortmund was a shock as they were able to dispatch their opponents very easily during the first leg, and in the second leg, completely collapsed as Dortmund threatened throughout, with only the width of the post preventing them from forcing extra-time.

Bayern are to all intents and purposes a better team than Dortmund, and have more weapons while retaining the same intense pace. Ronaldo’s return and Bale’s good health will be welcome news for Real but the more important factor will be if their defence can stand up against their German opponents.

 

Bayern are also welcoming back a talisman of their own in the form of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was serving a suspension for a red card offense in the last round. The Germans were held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United in the first leg of the quarterfinals before coming from behind to eventually run out 3-1 winners in the second leg. They wrapped up the Bundesliga title in record time but have become complacent in the league in recent weeks, suffering uncharacteristic losses to Augsburg and at home to Dortmund, though this seems to have been remedied by their most recent performances, winning 5-1 against Kaiserslautern and 2-0 against TSV Eintracht Braunschweig. This suggests that they are over there complacency issues and are back to their winning ways, something that should be concerning to Real Madrid fans everywhere.

If the Bavarians have a weakness it is their response to counter-attacking play, something that Dortmund feasted on as they ran out 3-0 winners recently, and something that has been a running problem in Guardiola teams. Their defenders push up very high and the fullbacks do a great deal of attacking, leaving them exposed if their opponents are able to form a quick, incisive counter. This plays into the hands of Real Madrid who are the best counter-attacking team in Europe, with the triple threat of Ronaldo, Bale and Karim Benzema. Angel Di Maria’s resurrection in the midfield will always be critical to the match-up, the energy of the Argentine is a big reason for Real’s effectiveness on the counter and his energy is essential for hassling midfielders and retrieving possession –all while he is still able to create chances with his dribbling skills.

 

Bayern will most likely dominate possession and with arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, will be bailed out a few times when they are caught on the break. Real Madrid however, will look to break quickly when Bayern do concede possession and with their ferocious attack, they should be able to muster a few clear cut chances and test Manuel Neuer. His opposite number Iker Casillas, meanwhile, is having a record-breaking season as the cup keeper for Madrid and will be on hand to thwart the efforts of the Germans who are always a safe bet to manage a few shots on goal.

The game will likely come down to which defense breaks first, with both teams having topped 100 goals this season in all competitions. If both teams’ attacks behave as they have for the season, the game will be a goal-fest and the winner might come down to whoever has the last shot on goal.

 

Betting Instinct Tip – With two of the most formidable forward-lines in world football going head-to-head, we can expect goals. More than 3.5 goals can be backed at 2.60 with GR88.com.

 

BdykNApCQAEQ_-t ZITO MADU (zitov2) is a writer for SBnation, and has written for Surreal Football, LiveBreatheFutbol,  and numerous other sports sites. Follow him on Twitter.

Ronaldo and Bale to fire Real Madrid to victory over Bayern Munich?

Will the firepower of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale give Real a first leg advantage over the European champions?

Will the firepower of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale give Real a first leg advantage over the European champions?

This Wednesday sees the clash of two of the biggest names in European football as this Real Madrid v Bayern Munich clash in the Champions League Semi Finals sees a meeting of two sides that have lifted the European Cup on 14 occasions. Real have won the title on nine separate occasions, but are without a win since 2002, while Bayern have five wins including lifting the title at Wembley last season. Both teams will be desperate to claim a first leg advantage in an attempt to book their place in Lisbon for the Champions League Final at the end of May, but who is favoured for victory at the Bernabeu?

Real Madrid v Bayern Munich Odds:

Real – 2.30

Draw – 3.30

Bayern – 2.88

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Real come into this final four match of the Champions League as one of just two sides to have gone unbeaten throughout the tournament, with their city rivals Atlético Madrid the only other team to match this feat. They will come into this match boosted having not played a match in a week since securing the Copa del Rey title over Barcelona with a stunning winning goal from Gareth Bale. Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, who is likely to return for this clash following a spell on the sidelines with injury, have scored 19 goals between them in this competition so far and they will be hunting for more goals on home soil tonight. Real are especially impressive at the Bernabeu this season with 20 wins in their last 21 games in all competitions, including scoring three against German sides Schalke and Borussia Dortmund, so will CR7 and Bale fire them to victory again?

It will not be easy for Real as they face a side that has swept the board as they have taken every trophy they have contested over last season and this. They have taken two Bundesliga titles, the German Cup, the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup in this time. They do not have the standout firepower of Real Madrid’s star players and world record breaking purchases, but they have a much more rounded and balanced side overall. The question is, will this better team play see them able to neutralise the firepower of the Spanish team?

Since wrapping up the Bundesliga title early this season, Bayern’s concentration has seemed to waver with losses to Augsburg and Borussia Dortmund in recent weeks as well as managing to draw only 1-1 at Old Trafford with a subpar Manchester United despite dominating possession too. I feel that Bayern are likely to once again dominate possession in this Champions League Semi Final, but you can sure that Real will be more direct and lethal when they get the opportunity to attack Manuel Neuer in the Bayern goal.

As a result of this, I can see this match being a close but high scoring clash in the Spanish capital with both sides finding the net. However, the edge that the home support will give Ronaldo, Bale and the rest of the Real Madrid side leads me to believe that Real will just edge this first leg tie setting us up for a fantastic second leg at the Allianz Arena next Tuesday.

Back Real Madrid to beat Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu in this Champions League Semi Final first leg @ 2.30 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Champions League semi-finals – The Key Battles

Diego Costa will hope to round off a great season by firing his club to the Champions League final

Diego Costa will hope to round off a great season by firing his club to the Champions League final

 

There is little doubt that the final four in the Champions League represent the elite of European football.

Last year’s champions Bayern Munich are aiming to become the first side to go back-to-back, while Chelsea – the side that beat them in the 2012 final – can give manager José Mourinho a third win with three different teams. However they will need to get past the top two in Spain, Atlético Madrid and their domestic rivals Real.

Ahead of the first legs, we take a look at a few of the key battles.

 

Champions League Outright Betting Odds:

Bayern Munich – 2.26

Real Madrid – 3.50

Atlético Madrid – 4.30

Chelsea – 5.20

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

Gareth Bale v Philipp Lahm or Rafinha

Welsh international Bale has had the eyes of the world on him this season after swapping Tottenham for Real Madrid in a world record move last summer. While he has impressed in La Liga, hitting double figures for goals and assists, a stunning winning goal in the Copa Del Rey final has helped him fully announce himself in the Spanish capital.

Bayern manager Pep Guardiola has given captain Philipp Lahm a new midfield role this season, using Rafinha – a squad player under Jupp Heynckes – more regularly. However the Brazilian’s lack of experience at the highest level could make Guardiola hesitant to risk him. Javi Martinez may well be used in a holding midfield role as he returns from suspension, leaving Lahm with the responsibility of keeping Bale in check.

 

Diego Costa v John Terry

A year ago, you may not have known much about Diego Costa unless you closely followed La Liga. The striker had never scored more than 10 league goals in one season, while his international career amounted to two appearances for Brazil in friendly matches.

However this all changed in 2013-14, with 26 goals for Atlético Madrid in the league and seven in the Champions League putting Costa on the radar of clubs such as Atlético’s semi-final opponents Chelsea. Furthermore, after he was granted Spanish nationality last summer, the striker earned a call-up for his adopted country for the first time and could well lead the line for La Roja at the World Cup.

One of his opponents on Tuesday, Chelsea captain John Terry, has unfinished business in this competition. He missed a crucial penalty in the 2008 final and was suspended for his club’s triumph in 2012, and he will be as determined as any of the other 21 players on the pitch.

 

Domestic form v European form

Three of the four remaining sides are still very much in their domestic title race, while the fourth, Bayern, have seen their form slide somewhat after clinching the Bundesliga title.

Chelsea have the biggest conflict of interest, taking on title rivals Liverpool between the two legs of their semi-final, but the two Spanish sides may also feel the pressure as they reach crunch time in La Liga. Fatigue and concentration could well come into play, particularly for Atlético, who have not reached this stage of the competition since they won the European Cup some 40 years ago.

 

Betting Instinct tip – Real and Atlético have lost just three home matches between them in all competitions this season. Both Spanish teams to win their first leg match is 4.53 with GR88.com.

 

With tired legs towards the end of a long season, we could well see late goals in either of the first-leg games. If a goal is scored in the 88th minute or later then GR88.com will refund selected losing bets. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

 

 

tvTOM VICTOR (editor)  is the editor and co-founder of Betting Instinct. He has written for a variety of  sports sites in the past, including JustFootball, Footy Matters and BeNeFoot.

 

All set for a German Cup Clásico!

 

Are we set for a Bayern vs. Dortmund cup final in Germany?

Will Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer meet archrivals Dortmund in the German Cup final?

In Spain it’s all eyes on the final of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday when Barcelona and Real Madrid go toe to toe in what should be another epic contest, and German football fans are expecting a similar showdown when their national cup competition reaches its climax. The DFB Pokal semifinals this midweek see both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund as big favourites to move on and meet in a “German Clásico” in the final.

Tuesday sees Dortmund take on Wolfsburg at their Signal Iduna Park, buoyed by an impressive 3-0 win at Bayern in the Bundesliga on Saturday evening. While there is little doubt that the Bavarians have other things on their mind after clinching the title at the end of March, nothing can be taken away from a clinical performance by coach Jurgen Klopp’s team at the Allianz Arena. Things won’t be easy, however, against a Wolfsburg side that is challenging for fourth place in the Bundesliga (and Champions League qualification) and is capable of matching (almost) anyone on their day.

Bayern need to get back on track ahead of next week’s Champions League showdown with Real Madrid and should be able to enjoy a real confidence boost when second division Kaiserslautern come calling. Coach Pep Guardiola is keen to add the cup to the Bundesliga title and will no doubt field a strong team to get the job done with a minimum of fuss to set up what most German football fans want (well expect those from Wolfsburg and Lautern of course!) – a cup final battle between Bayern and BVB!

DFB Pokal semifinal odds

Borussia Dortmund         1.4
Draw                                   4.5
Wolfsburg                          6.75

Bayern Munich                 1.05
Draw                                   11.0
Kaiserslautern                  26.0

Odds provided by www.allyoubet.ag are correct of today, but are subject to change.

CHRIS I. (tipsterchris) is a European sports blogger who’s hooked on football — both NFL American football and European football.  Chris discusses betting tips and trends and includes betting odds in his regular posts at BI.

Dortmund need some magic in Madrid!

Will Dortmund past their Real test?

Dortmund need a superhuman effort to leave the Bernabeu with a result!

A year after losing out to Borussia Dortmund in the semifinals of the Champions League, Real Madrid have been handed the perfect opportunity to take revenge when the two teams get it on at the quarterfinal stage of this year’s competition.

After losing El Clásico and then going down to Seville, Real have lost the initiative in the three-way race to the Primera Division title, and so will all the more keen to give their fans something to cheer about on Wednesday.

Dortmund, who have been erratic to say the least in the Bundesliga this year and only just scraped past Zenit St. Petersburg in the last sixteen of the Champions League, travel to Spain needing to compensate for the massive handicap of losing suspended striker Robert Lewandowski. The Pole, who will be making the Bayer Munich squad even stronger next season, scored all four BVB goals in their 4-1 home thrashing of Real last season and there is little doubt that Carlo Ancelotti will be extremely happy at his absence. Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp could well choose a defensive strategy at the Bernabeu in the knowledge that Lewandowski will be available for the return leg next week. Germany international Marco Reus, who bagged a hattrick at Stuttgart at the weekend, is likely to be the visitors’ main man up front as they hope to catch their hosts on the break.

It is, however, going to need a superhuman effort to leave Spain with anything other than a defeat, but with a full house at their backs in Dortmund, a narrow loss would still give the Germans every chance in the return!

Real Madrid vs. Borussia Dortmund, Odds

Real Madrid                        1.35
Draw                                     5.0
Borussia Dortmund         7.0

Odds provided by www.allyoubet.ag are correct as of today, but subject to change.

chrisives-50CHRIS I. (tipsterchris) is a European sports blogger who’s hooked on football — both NFL American football and European football.  Chris discusses betting tips and trends and includes betting odds in his regular posts at BI.

How can Manchester United stop Bayern Munich?

Will Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer even need to make a save?

Will Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer even need to make a save?

Next week the Champions League returns for the quarter-final stage, and for many the stand-out tie sees Manchester United host Bayern Munich at Old Trafford.

 

Manchester United v Bayern Munich Betting Odds

Manchester United win – 6.60

Bayern Munich – 1.45

Draw – 4.40

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

The meeting gives Bayern an opportunity to gain revenge for their defeat in the 1999 final by knocking out United at this stage of the competition for the second time in five years. And you wouldn’t rule out a victory more comprehensive than the away goals triumph in 2010.

 

On paper it is something of a mismatch. Bayern are the favourites for the tournament while United are the outsiders, and the German side have already wrapped up the Bundesliga title with 25 wins from their 27 league games.

In contrast, last Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat at home to rivals Manchester City was United’s 10th in 31 Premier League games and their sixth at Old Trafford. So how can they find a way past their all-conquering opponents.

 

Blindfold Manuel Neuer

The Bayern goalkeeper is known for his excellent instincts and awareness, often coming off his line to good effect to deny opponents, and this has been reflected in Bayern’s goals against column where the 13 conceded translates to less than one goal every two games.

Still, even that might not be enough. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that Bayern went on a six-game run where they conceded so few shots on target that they would have won all six without a goalkeeper. So, on to plan B…

 

Spin Philipp Lahm around in circles for a while

You don’t need triangles to demonstrate the effectiveness of Philipp Lahm this season. The club captain has been moved from right-back to central midfield, where he has acted as a metronome, conducting play and making the team tick.

How do you deal with that kind of majesty? Get two of your players to stand either side of the German and spin him around quickly for a few minutes, just enough to disorientate him. His influence will be diminished, and it lets you find a use for Tom Cleverley. And, of course, the circle is the geometric enemy of the triangle.

 

Sneak some extra players onto the pitch

Before Fabio was shipped off to Cardiff in January, there was a running joke that his presence at the club allowed United to keep playing identical twin Rafael even when the better of the two brothers was suspended. The Ol’ Switcheroo, as it is known in some circles.

If it worked once before there’s no reason why it can’t work again, and with Bayern’s superb ball retention it will probably still look like Pep Guardiola’s side are the ones with an extra player. Of course, Alex Büttner will still be playing at left-back so this might end up making no difference whatsoever.

 

So, to conclude, there seems to be little that United can do, save for praying to Superman. It really does look less like a case of ‘will Bayern win?’ and more one of ‘how many will they score?’

 

Betting Instinct Tip – Bayern Munich to win and score three or more goals is 3.68 with GR88.com

 

 

 TOM VICTOR (editor) tv is the editor and co-founder of Betting Instinct. He has written for a variety of  sports sites in the past, including JustFootball, Footy Matters and BeNeFoot.