Rafael Benitez

Home final is extra motivation for Bayern

Rafael Benitez

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Bayern have a unique opportunity to play a Champions League final on home turf

Watching Bayern lose at Borussia Dortmund last week showed us a different side to them compared with their recent games.

Previously, we saw a team scoring many goals and playing with plenty of confidence. Against Dortmund, who won 1-0 and managed to frustrate Bayern for most of the game, it was a different story.

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Dortmund v Bayern tactical overview

Will it have an impact on their game versus Real Madrid? Maybe it will act as a kind of motivation, an impetus to focus even more on this Champions League semi-final. They have the possibility to play the final in their own stadium. So I believe they will be able to raise their game against Real.

They will face a Real Madrid team that has immense quality and a good balance. The strength of Bayern, to my mind, will be the players on the wings — Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben - and Mario Gomez who is scoring so many goals at the moment as he leads the attack. The four offensive players, with Toni Kroos or Thomas Mueller completing the quartet, are a handful for anyone.

For Real Madrid, the important aspects will be that Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain are all constantly scoring goals, while the comeback of Angel di Maria will also have a big impact. If he plays, Mesut Ozil's ability to play passes in between the lines is always dangerous for the opposition.

Real Madrid's confidence is sky high because they are having a good season in general. They have a well-balanced team, with a good defensive unit and offensive players who can score at any time. The left wing, with Ronaldo and Marcelo, is always a source of great danger. They have good alternatives with Benzema or Higuain both in great scoring form. They can both change a game, and would be very strong weapons for any team.

I believe Real Madrid are slight favourites. Playing the first leg in Germany could be an advantage for them. But, as I said before, Bayern is a team with an incredible quality and tradition of its own. It's a very important club.

It's the same thing for Real Madrid, so this semi-final will be a confrontation between two of the biggest clubs of Europe. Again, I would say that Real Madrid are slight favourites, but the fact that the final will be in Munich will be an extra motivation for Bayern.

Read more analysis from Rafael Benitez on his official website: http://www.rafabenitez.com/

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