Wednesday UCL Preview: Real Madrid and Bayern set for battle, Leicester aim to upset Atletico

Holders Real Madrid look to edge closer to becoming the first team to retain the Champions League, when they face a tough trip to fellow European heavyweights Bayern Munich.

Serie A side Napoli proved no match for the reigning champions in the last 16, as Zinedine Zidane’s side won 3-1 in Naples to seal a 6-2 aggregate victory to keep hopes of a winning 12th European Cup alive.

Sergio Ramos scored twice as Real Madrid won 3-1 at Napoli
image: dailymail.co.uk

It was also all too easy for Bayern Munich in their last 16 tie, as the Bundesliga champions crushed Arsenal both home and away to record a 10-2 aggregate win over the Gunners to reach the quarter-finals for a sixth consecutive season.

Real Madrid inflicted a heaviest ever home defeat on Bayern three years ago, but gaffer Zinedine Zidane believes a lot of things has changed since then and he expects a tough game against a manager he knows very well.

“I know Carlo and he knows me, but it means nothing” said the Frenchman.

“Tomorrow is about two great teams playing each other, not me playing against Carlo. We have done very well so far in the competition and we want to go for it and get the win.

“I think our team is better now than in 2014, but we need to prove it. What happened three years ago happened and it was wonderful, but this is a completely different game between two different teams.”

Bayern Munich head coach Carlo Ancelotti – who managed Real Madrid to Champions League glory in 2014 – looks forward to taking on his former side and knows his Bayern must be at their very best to take an advanatge to the Spanish capital next week.

“The fact I know ‘Zizou’ and the players well is no advantage,” said the former AC Milan gaffer.

“It will be a special occasion for me: I have a special connection with the club and the players. Zinedine and I are very good friends. I’m delighted he has done so well at Real and won the Champions League.

“We are aware of what Real can do. We have a lot of respect for them, but we are more focused on what we can do. It will be a difficult match, but we have the confidence and we’re in good form.

Bayern Munich smashed five past Arsenal at the Emirates to cruise into the last eight
image: dailystar.oc.uk

Team News

Bayern Munich are without star striker Robert Lewandowski for the visit of Real Madrid to the Allianz Arena, with the Polish international ruled out after suffering a shoulder injury.

Carlo Ancelotti could also be without German striker Thomas Muller, as he looks to pass a late fitness test on an ankle problem in a bid start up front for the injured Lewandowski.

Defender Mats Hummels is out also injured for the German giants after damaging ankle ligaments in Bayern’s 4-1 win over Borussia Dortmund at the weekend, but goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is fit to start after he overcame a foot injury.

Real Madrid are without defensive duo Raphael Varane (hamstring) and Pepe (ribs) for the trip to Bayern Munich, while attacking trio Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are expected to start up front.

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