Bayern Munich host Real Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter final tie on Wednesday night
The Germans will be out for revenge after Madrid’s shocking 5-0 thrashing of them over two legs in the semi-finals of the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League season, when current manager Carlo Ancelotti was then the manager of Los Blancos.
This is a draw that neither team would have wanted but given that they are both favourites for the trophy there was always a chance that they would face off against each other at some point in the tournament.
It promises to be an enthralling tie but given the key absentees for both teams, both sides will have a lot of work to do.
Madrid are short of options at the back with Raphael Varane out through injury and Pepe ruled out with a couple of broken ribs after an unfortunate collision with Toni Kroos during the draw against Atletico Madrid over the weekend.
Speaking ahead of the match, Zinedine Zidane was confident that Gareth Bale was close to hitting top form, meaning Bale will definitely start the match while also admitting that Kroos was upset about his role in the injury.
“I consider Bale to be close to being on top form. His lay-off was very lengthy and he’s getting stronger by the day. I hope that he produces his best tomorrow. Tomorrow’s game is an important one for him,” he said.
“He [Kroos] is upset about the injury to Pepe, but these things happen. We know how important he is for us and he’s very intelligent on the ball and in tactical terms. He always knows where to position himself on the pitch and he’s really comfortable on the ball.”
Bayern Munich will be without summer signing Mats Hummels after the German international picked up an injury in training on Sunday, while Robert Lewandowski also faces a late fitness test after injuring himself in the match against Borussia Dortmund, although the Pole was able to train for 20 minutes on Tuesday.
Thomas Muller will likely be involved at some point after returning from an ankle injury but other than that, Carlo Ancelotti does not have any fresh injury concerns or suspensions to deal with and will name the strongest lineup possible.