Bayern Munich - Atlético Madrid Preview: Bavarians hope home support can help earn final berth

It's do or die for Bayern, as they battle to keep the chances of a treble-winning dream alive.

Bayern Munich - Atlético Madrid Preview: Bavarians hope home support can help earn final berth
Image credit: VAVEL

Bayern Munich are faced with a one-nil deficit heading into their UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg tie with Atlético Madrid.

The Spanish side have the advantage heading to Munich after Saul Niguez scored the only goal of the game in Madrid, thanks to a special solo strike.

However, home has been where Bayern fare best in Europe and they will be hoping a packed Allianz Arena can spur them on to a Milan final.

Bayern hoping to give Guardiola the perfect send-off

Pep Guardiola and his side will be desperate to give the Bavarian faithful something to cheer on Tuesday, having failed to seal their 25th Bundesliga crown against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday. Despite going ahead, it was André Hahn's goal that mean Bayern will have to wait to continue their domestic dominance. The reigning league champions only need a further two points, however, to claim another title.

Many people have said that Guardiola's time in Munich will no be a success unless he lifts the Champions League. He has marched them to record league wins and also won the DFB-Pokal, but this could be the season they get everything right. A cup final against Borussia Dortmund awaits, and a European win would surely shut up any critics he has. Should Bayern claim all three trophies, it would be their second treble in four seasons.

Atléti aiming for the double

While Bayern's goal is the treble, Atléti are hoping to go one better than in 2014 and claim a Liga BBVA and Champions League double. On that occasion, they won the title on the final day before losing in dramatic fashion to Real Madrid in the final - two scenarios which could yet happen again, although they will hope the latter can be reversed. The capital club warmed up for the game with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano, their fourth in a row, with Antoine Griezmann's goal securing all three points.

While Griezmann has been their leading light up front, it has been an incredible defensive showing that has carried them through the season. FC Barcelona and Real have both scored over 100 goals this campaign, in comparison to 60 for Atlético. However, just 16 goals conceded and well over 20 clean sheets for the campaign speaks volumes. Even without Diego Godin, they have managed to keep a solid back four. Diego Simeone has the unit drilled to near-perfection, but can it withstand the Bayern bombardment?

Team news

Bayern Munich have been able to plan with a near full-strength squad for this game, with only long-term absentees, Arjen Robben and Holger Badstuber, unavailable. Franck Ribéry has reported back problems, though he should still start. Even then, a duo of Kingsley Coman and Douglas Costa isn't exactly a massive loss.

As previously mentioned, there will be no Diego Godin once again; the Uruguayan's injury problem is still proving to be enough to keep him out. However, he should be fit for the last few games of Atléti's run in. Simeone will also be without Tiago Mendes, which means the same side that started in the first leg should take to the field on Tuesday.

Can Pep Guardiola end his time in charge of Bayern with a Champions League win? | Image source: kicker - Getty Images
Can Pep Guardiola end his time in charge of Bayern with a Champions League win? | Image source: kicker - Getty Images

Referee

A regular at this stage of the competition, Cüneyt Cakir from Turkey will be the official on Tuesday evening. It will mean he becomes the first ever referee to officiate two consecutive Champions League semi-finals - having already taken charge of Manchester City's nil-nil draw with Real Madrid last week.

Cakir also refereed the final last year, and has a very impressive CV. A list of European semi-finals follows on from refereeing World Cup and European Championship semi-finals, as well as plenty of other high-profile games in Europe's top two competitions.

Predicted line-ups

Bayern Munich: (4-1-4-1) Neuer; Lahm, Martinez, Boateng, Alaba; Vidal; Douglas Costa, Müller, Thiago, Ribéry; Lewandowski.

Atlético Madrid: (4-4-2) Oblak; Juanfran, Gimenez, Savic, Filipe Luis; Saul, Gabi, Augusto, Koke; Torres, Griezmann.