It all comes down to Wednesday’s return leg in the second UEFA Champions League semi-final tie. We look ahead to the game at the Santiago Bernabéu with our Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich prediction and preview.

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich Stats: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta supercomputer makes Real Madrid favourites to reach an 18th European Cup/UEFA Champions League final, assigning them a 49.5% chance of victory in 90 minutes.
  • Madrid are unbeaten in their last eight Champions League meetings with Bayern Munich (six wins, two draws), and have won six of their last seven against them at home (one draw).
  • While Carlo Ancelotti is bidding to reach a record-extending sixth Champions League final, Thomas Tuchel could become the first coach to make the final with three different clubs.

Match Preview

Having reclaimed their place as champions of La Liga, Real Madrid turn their attentions back to the UEFA Champions League, their eyes set on a record-extending 15th European crown.

They didn’t have things all their own way in last week’s first leg against Bayern Munich, requiring a late Vinícius Júnior penalty to take the tie back to Spain level at 2-2, but special things tend to happen when Los Blancos step out at the Santiago Bernabéu in this competition.

Madrid had Girona to thank for rubber-stamping their 36th domestic title triumph – a joint record alongside Juventus in Europe’s top five leagues – as they beat Barcelona 4-2 shortly after Carlo Ancelotti’s men had thrashed Cádiz 3-0 on Saturday.

Brahim Díaz and Joselu joined Jude Bellingham on the scoresheet as Ancelotti shuffled his pack, with Vinícius, Rodrygo, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde, Aurélien Tchouaméni and Antonio Rüdiger all benched with one eye on Wednesday’s crucial second leg.

Vinícius was twice on target last week, and he has now been involved in 31 Champions League goals since the start of Madrid’s triumphant 2021-22 campaign (16 goals, 15 assists) – more than any other player.

Bayern 2-2 Real Madrid

The Brazilian’s opener at the Allianz Arena came from a fantastic through ball from former Bayern man Kroos, who remains one of Ancelotti’s most trusted lieutenants. A quarter of Kroos’ passes played in the Champions League this season have broken at least one opposition line, the highest percentage of any player to play at least 300 minutes in the competition, while his 23 line-breaking passes in the first leg were more than twice as many as any other player (Konrad Laimer had 10).

That goal also came at the end of a 20-pass move, showing that for all the talk of Madrid’s European “aura”, they remain capable of playing some excellent football. That was their longest sequence leading to a goal in a Champions League knockout tie since May 2018, when Karim Benzema netted after 28 passes against Bayern at the Bernabéu.

Ancelotti, who led Bayern to the Bundesliga title in his one full season in Bavaria in 2016-17, will be looking to further underline his status as the king of European knockout football by reaching a sixth Champions League final. His current tally of five is already the most of any manager.

His opposite number Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, could become the first coach to reach the final with as many as three different teams, having previously lost the 2020 showpiece game with Paris Saint-Germain before triumphing with Chelsea in 2021.

Tuchel refused to rule out a dramatic U-turn on his Bayern future last week, after Ralf Rangnick joined Xabi Alonso and Julian Nagelsmann in rejecting the chance to succeed him. Another poor Bundesliga display did little for Tuchel’s chances of remaining in charge on Saturday, though, as third-placed Stuttgart moved within two points of Bayern by beating them 3-1.

Bayern did impress after falling behind in the first leg, with Leroy Sané and Harry Kane on target within four second-half minutes to put them 2-1 up. Sané drove into the area before lashing past Andriy Lunin for his goal, and he has now been involved in 11 goals following a carry (defined as travelling five or more metres with the ball) in the Champions League since the start of 2021-22 (eight goals, three assists) – more than any other player.

Kane, meanwhile, showed ice-cool composure to convert from the penalty spot after Lucas Vázquez fouled Jamal Musiala, reaching 29 goals in the Champions League overall.

His next goal will see him equal Wayne Rooney as the all-time leading English scorer in the European Cup/Champions League, while his 11 goal involvements in the competition this season are the most ever managed by an Englishman in a single campaign.

Bayern do have some selection issues to contend with ahead of Wednesday’s game, with Raphaël Guerreiro sidelined due to an ankle injury and both Eric Dier and Dayot Upamecano doubtful after suffering knocks.

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich Head-to-Head

The omens are good for Madrid ahead of Wednesday’s game. Los Blancos are unbeaten in their last eight Champions League meetings with Bayern (six wins, two draws), while they have also won six of their last seven against them at the Bernabéu, drawing the other.

Bayern have progressed from four of their previous seven European Cup/Champions League semi-final ties against Madrid, though the Spanish giants have won the last two in 2013-14 and 2017-18, going on to win the tournament on both occasions. 

Should Madrid advance on Wednesday, it would be the first time either team has done so from three successive semi-final ties between the clubs.  

Bayern have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 16 Champions League matches against Madrid, their longest run without a shutout versus any club in the competition. 

Their last clean sheet against Madrid came in the first leg of a semi-final tie in May 2001, which the German side won 3-1 on aggregate before lifting the trophy. 

Ancelotti, meanwhile, has never lost in nine Champions League meetings with Bayern, recording six wins and three draws. It is the most any coach has faced an opponent while remaining unbeaten in the competition’s history. 

Recent Form

Following Saturday’s win over Cádiz, Madrid are unbeaten in their last 42 matches in all competitions excluding extra-time (30 wins, 12 draws). Their only defeat in 90 minutes this season came back in September, a 3-1 derby loss at Atlético Madrid in La Liga. 

Bayern, meanwhile, have only won four of their last nine games across all competitions, drawing two and losing three.

The Bavarian giants have also failed to win away from home in the last two rounds of the Champions League, losing 1-0 at Lazio in the last 16 and drawing 2-2 with Arsenal in the quarter-finals. 

They haven’t gone three straight away games without a win in a single edition of the competition since 2015-16, when they were eliminated at the semi-final stage by Atlético, going out on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw. 

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off on Wednesday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich Prediction

The Opta supercomputer is siding with the hosts ahead of Wednesday’s all-important second leg. 

Of 10,000 match simulations conducted ahead of kick-off, Madrid won 49.5%. Bayern were victorious in 26.6% and the remaining 23.9% finished level, sending the tie to extra-time and potentially penalties. 

Overall, the supercomputer gives Madrid a 67.4% chance of reaching the final to Bayern’s 32.6%.

In our tournament predictions, Madrid are assigned a 41.2% chance of becoming European champions for a sixth time in 11 years. Bayern are given a 17.1% chance of claiming their seventh continental crown. 

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich Prediction

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich UCL Squads

Real Madrid: Thibaut Courtois, Kepa, Andriy Lunin, Lucas Cañizares, Diego Piñeiro, David Alaba, Nacho, Dani Carvajal, Antonio Rüdiger, Ferland Mendy, Éder Militão, Fran García, Álvaro Carrillo, Vinícius Tobias, Jacobo Ramón, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Lucas Vázquez, Dani Ceballos, Brahim Díaz, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Federico Valverde, Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, Arda Güler, Nico Paz, Mario Martín, Joselu, Vinícius Júnior, Rodrygo, Gonzalo García.

Head Coach: Carlo Ancelotti

Bayern Munich: Manuel Neuer, Daniel Peretz, Sven Ulreich, Dayot Upamecano, Kim Min-jae, Matthijs de Ligt, Eric Dier, Bouna Sarr, Raphaël Guerreiro, Sacha Boey, Tarek Buchmann, Noussair Mazraoui, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sané, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Alphonso Davies, Konrad Laimer, Jamal Musiala, Serge Gnabry, Harry Kane, Kingsley Coman, Bryan Zaragoza, Thomas Müller, Mathys Tel.

Head Coach: Thomas Tuchel