Real Madrid v Bayern Munich
Tuesday 19:45, BT Sport 1.
Match Odds: Real Madrid 2.26/5, Bayern Munich 3.39/4, The Draw 4.3100/30
Injury problems for Real
Real Madrid take a 2-1 lead into this second leg at the Bernabeu, and are strong favourites to reach the final for a third consecutive year. Zinedine Zidane, however, has some crucial selection decisions to make.
Since last week's first leg, he's lost both creative midfielder Isco and right-back Dani Carvajal to injury, and there aren't obvious replacements for either player. Zidane will have to get creative.
The absence of Carvajal means Zidane is likely to turn to Lucas Vazquez. He's very much a winger rather than a full-back, but Zidane has little alternative and therefore we're likely to see Vazquez starting on the right of defence, up against Franck Ribery. He deputised effectively there last week in the second half, but 90 minutes in an unfamiliar position is a very different story.
Isco's absence means Zidane might change system, and go for more of a 4-3-3 than a 4-1-4-1 or a diamond midfield. Cristiano Ronaldo is a surefire starter and Karim Benzema should return to the side, but Zidane must choose between Marco Asensio and Gareth Bale, who didn't get off the bench in Munich. On current form, it's surely Asensio in line to start, and Bale's only hope is if he favours using Ronaldo upfront and omits Benzema, therefore allowing Bale into the starting XI. Another omission here, and Bale's Real future will be a major doubt.
Otherwise, this should be the same XI as last week. Keylor Navas will continue in goal despite his poor showing last week, with Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos in front of him. Marcelo had an eventful game in Munich, offering attacking thrust but looking vulnerable defensively and his battle with Thomas Muller might be crucial, with the German potentially causing him problems in the air.
Real are likely to control this game through Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in the centre of midfield. They weren't at their best last weekend but have the tactical quality and tactical intelligent to dominate proceedings, slowing the tempo and frustrating Bayern, who aren't particularly good at pressing.
Heynckes selection issues
Bayern have injury worries of their own. Jerome Boateng, and Arjen Robben have joined Arturo Vidal, Kingsley Coman and Manuel on the treatment table, with David Alaba a serious doubt. Jupp Heynckes can still call upon a decent starting XI, but Bayern look weak at the back without Alaba and Boateng. The tall centre-back Niklas Sule should start, with Juan Bernat likely to deputise for Alaba if required.
Bayern's midfield will try to push forward and close down their opposite numbers quickly, but Javi Martinez and Thiago Alcantara must offer more passing quality than last week, when they both frequently conceded possession. James Rodriguez needs others to put Bayern in charge for him to offer his contributions in the final third, which have often been excellent this season. His battle with Casemiro could be key.
Lewandowski the key man
Robert Lewandowski will play between Ribery and Muller, and if Bayern are to complete an unlikely turnaround, it's likely the Pole will be crucial. He almost single-handedly guided Dortmund past Real Madrid at this stage five years ago, and will need to get the better of Ramos and Varane for Bayern to stand a chance.
I wasn't particularly impressed with either side last week, and while I think Real are eminently beatable, I'm not convinced Bayern have the cohesion to cause an upset here. Defensive injuries mean I think Real will score a couple, which will make life hard for the German champions. To me, Real look a good price at 2.26/5.