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Three talking points ahead of Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich

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Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

A Vinicius Jr. brace helped Real Madrid secure a 2-2 draw away at the Allianz Arena when they took on Bayern Munich last week.

The result may not have been ideal, but Carlo Ancelotti would take it with both arms extended given how the Germans dominated the play on the night.

Tomorrow, the two teams face off in the decisive 90 minutes of the clash, and one team must emerge victorious at the end of the night. With the home advantage on their side, Los Blancos have a slight advantage.

The kings of the Champions League, thus, have their eyes focused on the prize and the objective will be to kill the game off in 90 minutes come Wednesday.

After all, the world knows how they were made to suffer in extra time against Manchester City in the last round and a repeat is the last thing Carlo Ancelotti’s side requires.

Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich.

Momentum like none other

Nestled between the two legs of the semifinal against Bayern Munich was a game that saw Real Madrid take on Cadiz in La Liga.

As a clash between the table-toppers and a relegation-threatened side, the game was always going to be lively with no dearth of actions. The night, however, was etched in history was a completely different reason.

At the Bernabeu, Los Blancos took all three points and then witnessed Barcelona go down to Girona in the later fixture that evening.

The net result of the two games was that Real Madrid officially were crowned the champions of La Liga as they established a mathematically insurmountable lead at the top of the table.

The newly-crowned Spanish champions thus head into Wednesday’s clash with momentum like none other. They may be abstaining from public celebration, but it is close to impossible that the dressing room does not have a euphoric atmosphere after the news.

Bayern Munich, meanwhile, lost their clash against VfB Stuttgart over the weekend and head to Madrid far from their best spirits.

Can the Golden Boy shine?

The game at Allianz Arena last week saw not only two of the world’s best teams go head to head against each other but also two of world football’s most prodigal youngsters.

Bellingham had a quiet night at the Allianz Arena. (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham and Bayern Munich’s Jamal Muisala both started on the night and while the German star shone, the Golden Boy winner could not bring out his A game.

In 75 minutes, the former Borussia Dortmund star recorded just two key passes, had no shots on target and lost possession a staggering ten times.

It later came to light that Bellingham’s poor performance was because he missed training for close to a week through illness, and the past week has given him time to recuperate from the same.

In fact, the youngster shone in Real Madrid’s clash against Cadiz at the weekend, scoring once and providing two key passes in just 24 minutes.

Heading into tomorrow’s clash, getting the best out of Bellingham will thus account for so much of Real Madrid’s result. Back in form and ready to go, he will look to outperform Musiala and establish his status as the best young player in football.

Within touching distance

Having lost Karim Benzema last summer, it was unclear what to expect from Real Madrid’s 2023-24 campaign.

Ten months later, Los Blancos have been crowned the kings of Spain and are just 90 minutes away from the finale of the UEFA Champions League. A special double, thus, is not entirely impossible.

The Champions League knockout draw did not give the Merengues too much of a chance to qualify, especially given that they were in the same half as Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Arsenal.

After knocking Pep Guardiola’s side out of the event, they have the home advantage for the second leg against Bayern Munich and could have one foot in the final where they would be favourites.

The match tomorrow, thus, could make or break Real Madrid’s European dream. The finish line is within touching distance, but possibly their greatest obstacle stands in their way tomorrow.

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Kroos, Courtois start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could lineup against Real Betis

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Photo via Getty Images

Having won the league comfortably after accumulating 94 points in 37 games, Real Madrid’s main objective for the last game of the season, set to go ahead tomorrow, against Real Betis, would be to finish on 97 points.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are coming off a 4-4 draw against Villarreal last weekend, Madrid will be looking to end the domestic season with a win, which would also serve as a huge confidence boost ahead of their Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund.

Reports have suggested that Ancelotti is alternating his lineup ahead of the UCL final to keep his troops fit and gunning. And after rotations last week against Villarreal, all signs point towards the best XI taking the field vs Betis.

Keeping that in mind, Madrid Universal takes a jab at the 14-time Champions League winners’ final starting lineup of the season for their game against Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis.

Defence: Militao or Nacho?

Andriy Lunin returned to guard the posts against Villarreal, which could be a sign that Ancelotti is preparing to use Thibaut Courtois as his goalkeeper against Dortmund. As such, we expect the Belgian to handle the gloves tomorrow.

Daniel Carvajal is expected to replace Lucas Vazquez as the right-back, while Ferland Mendy returns to take over his left-back role.

Antonio Rudiger’s spot does not seem to be in any threat at all, but there are question marks over who will start alongside him, especially on the back of Eder Militao’s disastrous performance vs Villarreal.

Consequently, Nacho might get the nod tomorrow, especially since it could be his last game for Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Midfield: Farewell Toni

While Nacho’s future is still up in the air, Toni Kroos announced his decision to leave Madrid at the end of the season on a free transfer. He will play his final game at home tomorrow, and is expected to get a huge farewell.

Kroos’ last game in Madrid colours. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Federico Valverde will aid him in midfield, playing on the right side of the trident, while Eduardo Camavinga starts as the defensive midfielder to cover for the injured Aurelien Tchouameni.

Attack: No doubts

The attack pretty much picks itself, especially if Ancelotti is truly planning on mirroring the lineup that will likely start the Champions League final as well.

Jude Bellingham will retain his spot as the false 9, playing slightly off left as he has done more so in recent weeks.

Brazilian powerhouse Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo will get the license to start as the two forwards up top, playing in front of Bellingham.

Off the bench

Joselu will almost definitely get some minutes tomorrow, and more than likely in the Champions League final as well, especially owing to his brilliance against Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.

Similarly, Ancelotti could opt to experiment with Luka Modric in midfield in the second half, especially if Tchouameni does not make it back in time to full fitness ahead of the final.

Eder Militao and Arda Guler are also in for some minutes tomorrow, with the latter on the scoresheet four time sin the last three games.

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