Bayern Munich vs Atletico Madrid: It’s all or nothing for Guardiola this time

guardiola-simeone-bayern-atletico
guardiola-simeone-bayern-atletico

Bayern Munich will face one of their toughest tests this season when they welcome Atletico Madrid to the Allianz Arena for their Champions League semi-finals tie on Tuesday evening.

Just like in his past two seasons, Pep Guardiola’s side are in contention for a Treble. Bayern Munich will win the Bundesliga this term. It’s just a matter of when. Die Roten could have wrapped things up this weekend, but were unable to find a way past Borussia Moenchengladbach. Borussia Dortmund may have given their fans some hope by thrashing Wolfsburg, but for all intents and purposes, Bayern will eventually clinch the league title and make history whilst doing so.

So, instead of completing part one, Bayern Munich will now have to wait for yet another weekend to take care of that. Still, although he may deny it in public, the feeling is that Guardiola would certainly swap another Bundesliga title for the one trophy that has eluded him so far since arriving in Munich – the Champions League. Three seasons, three semi-finals ties against La Liga opponents. And so far, two have ended in disappointment.

As things stand, Bayern Munich are in danger of again being thwarted by another team from Guardiola’s home country. Having failed to score in Madrid, they will obviously have to correct this at the Allianz Arena – all whilst, of course, preventing Diego Simeone’s side from finding the back of the net.

Fortunately for the hosts, they could be welcoming back one of their key players. After a long spell on the sidelines, Jerome Boateng finally made his return to action this weekend and could feature in some capacity on Tuesday. Franck Ribery, however, may be joining Arjen Robben and Holger Badstuber on the sidelines if he cannot shake off the effects of reported back trouble.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid are very much still involved in Spain’s title race. Although Simeone opted to rest quite a few star players, he ultimately had to modify things – and it immediately paid off. Within a minute of coming on, Antoine Griezmann had netted a wonder-goal against Rayo Vallecano to seal all three points for los Rojiblancos. This now means that Bayern’s opponents have managed to keep a clean sheet in their past six games across all competitions.

If that were not formidable enough, the ambitious Spanish side will have Diego Godin back in action. Anyone who’s watched Atleti in action certainly is well aware of how vital the Uruguayan star is to his side. And the fact that the team managed to shut down Bayern Munich – who boast one of the most potent attacks in Europe – without him is testament to how impressive they are defensively.

About four decades ago, die Roten crushed los Rojiblancos in the European Cup final replay. Will Atletico Madrid now get some “revenge” on the Bavarians by dumping them out of this season’s Champions League? Here’s a stat that will make any Bayern fan sweat a bit: 20 out 29 teams who have won 1-0 in the first leg have made it to the next round.

So will we be seeing 21 out of 30 on Tuesday? Or will Bayern Munich finally overcome their Spanish hoodoo?

MORE: Need matchday tickets? Get all your UEFA Champions League matchday tickets from Guaranteetickets.

Michelle Bonsu

Freelance football journalist based in New York. Primarily support AC Milan as well as the Ghanaian and Italian NT’s, but you’ll find me watching the Bundesliga and Premier League as well–enjoy a good game, regardless of where it’s being played. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of my favourite players.