More European Football today with the huge UEFA Champions League 1º leg semi-final between Real Madrid & Bayern Munich. Unfortunate that both had to meet at this stage as perhaps a Final would have been more appropriate.

The Germans are clear favourites although they transmit that they are the "underdogs", good tactic as Real Madrid are quietly optimistic & historically that has not helped them in the past.

As habitual, Spanish Sports paper "Sport" put forward a possible starting XI line-ups via a infograph as shown below. Speculative & lately not hitting the target, however good enough to give us a reference.

UEFA Champions League 2014
Courtesy from "Sport"

The big talking point for Real Madrid is if Cristiano Ronaldo will start or not. The Portuguese star has been carrying a knee complaint along with a minor muscle problem the last 2 weeks. From the muscle problem Ronaldo seems to have overcome it but what is the "unknown" is the knee complaint which some suspect is still niggling away. The Club & the player do not want to force & risk greater injury as there is the return leg in Munich, Liga & Cristiano has the upcoming World Cup.

Football observers feel that Cristiano Ronaldo will start on the bench & come on if needed. The Team showed good Football ways without their star in the Spanish Cup Final against FC Barcelona with a very good Isco filling in & doing extra work. Said all this, I am also sure that Ronaldo will want to play & will be tested this afternoon were Coach Ancelotti will ask the player for his "sensations".

The other Real Madrid player under a cloud is Gareth Bale with flu. The illness has also upset his stomach but many believe the Welshman will be OK tonight. Therefore the predicted Real Madrid starting XI line-up against Bayern Munich is:

Casillas, Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao, Xabi Alonso, Modric, Di Maria, Isco, Bale & Benzema

As you can see I go against the above graph by Sport & believe Ronaldo will start on the bench. Speculative, of course.

As for Bayern Munich the habitual line-up with doubt over if Muller will start over Mandzukic . A powerful team with a possible weakness in the defence but strong down their right flank were they will give Real Madrid defender Coentrao plenty of work.

Overall a match not to be missed.

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