Crunch time for Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich

Real Madrid enjoyed a very relaxed fifteen minutes of gentle training in the rain. All the staff seemed calm and focused ahead of tonights away leg in the semi-finals of the champion`s league.

Tonight the Allianz arena in Munich sees the start of acrucial, perhaps season defining eight days for Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid. The return leg is next wednesday and in-between is the small matter of a trip to the Nou camp. Next thursday could see Madrid having booked a return trip to Munich for the final and with an almost unbeatable lead in la liga.

Mourinho, who says he is only talking to the press on Uefa`s orders, has praised Bayern but played down the unfavourable statistics. “History is not playing,” he says but insists that “we must not go to Munich without scoring.”

A full squad is available to Mourinho but they will need to be resolute in defense, so expect Marcelo to replace Coentrao. Alonso and Khedira can assist both attack and defense and either Kaka or Ozil can supply the attack. I would expect Ronaldo and Di Maria to cut in from the wings while Benzema or Higuain will play as a lone striker. This formation can easily become more offensive or defensive as required.

Bayern have their own triple point of attack with Robben and Ribery on either side of Mario Gomez. Gomez has scored more champion`s league goals than anyone bar Messi so he will be a real threat. A score draw tonight would be a great result.

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