Three key battles to keep an eye on as Real Madrid take on Bayern Munich


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There are no favorites as Real Madrid take on Bayern Munich at their home ground this Wednesday after the first-leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final ended in a 2-2 draw.

Both these sides have proven pedigree in the premier European competition, which makes this tie a highly compelling affair, even though the Germans have not had a successful season domestically.

Furthermore, there are stars aplenty playing for both these sides, some of them having the ability to turn a game on its head with their individual brilliance.

Thus, there are several battles that spectators might have to keep an eye on in this match. The three most notable of these battles will be:

1: Harry Kane vs Antonio Rudiger

Kane is the joint top-scorer in the tournament, along with Kylian Mbappe, with 8 goals, and has scored another 36 goals in 32 Bundesliga appearances in his first season with the Bavarian giants. The Englishman is inarguably the most potent offensive weapon in Thomas Tuchel’s arsenal, and keeping him quiet will go a long way in allowing Real Madrid to get to the final.

Luckily, there is currently hardly any defender better suited for this task than the German Antonio Rudiger, who has been immense for Los Blancos this season, after having been relatively below his standards in his first season.

He successfully kept Erling Haaland in check in the quarter-final stage as Manchester City struggled to find a way to the Merengues’ goal.

However, Kane poses a different threat, as he is more mobile than the Norwegian and also has more top-level experience under his belt. Still, Rudiger was also able to keep Kane relatively under control in the first leg last week, and hopefully, this will once again be the case tonight.

2: Toni Kroos vs Konrad Laimer

While the hunger of Real Madrid for success in the UEFA Champions League is legendary, Toni Kroos will be the one player even hungrier than his teammates in this match as he is set to face his former club, Bayern Munich.

The German midfielder shone in the first leg, and it was his amazing defense-splitting pass that led to the opening of the scores through the feet of Vinicius Junior. He was one of the best performers in the first half of that game, but was somewhat more subdued in the second half.

This was particularly the case as Thomas Tuchel had deployed Konrad Laimer to press the veteran midfielder with more vigor. The Austrian’s speed and dynamism in the midfield allowed him to accelerate the play for his side, and take spaces on the field that Kroos was unable to cover for.

Now, having witnessed one another’s game up close in this first leg, it will be interesting to see how these two midfielders fare against one another in a battle that can tilt the result of the game in either team’s favor.

3: Vinicius Junior vs Joshua Kimmich

Vinicius Junior was the MVP for the first leg between these two sides as he opened the scoring after an exquisite Toni Kroos pass, and also converted the penalty later on in the game to allow Real Madrid to come into the second leg without any disadvantage.

The Brazilian got the better of Kim Min Jae in that game as he played in a more central role. However, Vinicius also plays on the left wing for a good part of any game, and here, he will have to face one of the best players in the Bayern Munich team, Joshua Kimmich.

Tuchel has been playing the German as a right-back for the last few weeks, even though Kimmich has also excelled as a midfield pivot during his Bayern career.

Being among the best players in their respective teams, this battle between Vinicius and Kimmich will attract a lot of attention from the spectators during the game.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari, a dedicated sports journalist and Real Madrid fan, has written over 2000 articles for Barca News Network and Madrid Voice. With a degree in Political Science and English Literature from Forman Christian College, he provides expert analyses and comprehensive La Liga coverage.

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