How DW′s Bundesliga experts think Atletico Madrid vs. Bayern Munich will go | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 26.04.2016
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How DW's Bundesliga experts think Atletico Madrid vs. Bayern Munich will go

Can Pep Guardiola finally overcome the semifinal hurdle at Bayern or will the defensive wall of Atletico Madrid prevail? DW's experts give their thoughts on how they think the first leg of the semifinal will go.

Stefan Bienkowski: Bayern struggle away, Atletico no champions at home

Bayern Munich have struggled on the road in this season's Champions League. They've lost to Arsenal in London, thrown away a two-goal quarterfinal lead against Juventus in Turin and essentially scraped by Benfica in Lisbon on their way to the semifinals. The only scalps Pep Guardiola's team has picked up on their travels have been against Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb, hardly a formidable record to take to Madrid.

Bayern fans can take hope from the fact that while they haven't inspired on the road, Atletico Madrid haven't exactly been fantastic in front of their own fans.

Although they put in a heroic home display against defending champions Barcelona in the last round, Diego Simeone's side stumbled to a 0-0 draw with PSV Eindhoven at the Vicente Calderon in the home leg of their round of 16 tie and lost to Benfica at home in the group stages. In fact, Atletico's home form in the competition (three wins, a draw and one defeat) isn't too dissimilar to the poor away form of Bayern (two wins, two draws and one defeat). Add to that the notable absentees on both teams and we may well have a fair fight in the opening game of the tie.

Prediction: Atletico 1-1 Bayern

Fußball UEFA Champions League Atletico Madrid v FC Barcelona

Will Antoine Griezmann be the difference against Bayern Munich?

Ross Dunbar: Bayern have the talent to deliver at the Calderon

Perhaps it's third time lucky for Pep Guardiola and Bayern Munich. This time around, things are going their way. They aren't romping to domestic honors - a state that's proved a clear disadvantage over the past decade for sides in the Champions League - and there's no serious injury crisis either - even Jerome Boateng, who has been out since January, has trained and travelled with the squad.

If this were an early stages knockout game, Bayern would have the advantage of playing the home leg second. But statistics suggest the perceived advantage become a disadvantage at the last four stage: only 36% of teams who play the away leg first progress to the final, according to UEFA's official website. This highlights just how fine the margins are at this point.

Skill and brilliance tends to shine through in these games and Bayern's off-the-cuff players have been decisive in their run so far. Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal unlocked the door against Juventus and Benfica, while Kingsley Coman also turned in a brilliant performance when he came off the bench against the Italians. Robert Lewandowski has 27 league goals and Thomas Müller's roaming will be a threat.

Focus, more than anything, is key. Talent will decide the crucial moments, but a disciplined, balanced and controlled performance should be enough for Bayern to secure a lead.

Prediction: Atletico 0-2 Bayern

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Alex Chaffer: Defensive mindset essential

Against Atletico Madrid, perhaps the best defense in Europe, Bayern's naturally attacking style of play, especially in the first leg, is perhaps not the best option.

Diego Simeone's side has been able to outwit opponents domestically and in Europe with a seemingly impenetrable defensive wall. Despite Bayern's endless attacking outlets, going to the Vicente Calderon looking to counterattack, rather than attack, could prove an advantage.

With the likes of Arturo Vidal, Javi Martinez and Xabi Alonso currently in superb form, the pace of Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman can explode on the break and serve up a vital away goal. However, returning home with a 0-0 draw would be equally as impressive.

Prediction: Atletico 1-1 Bayern

Jonathan Harding: Two legs give Bayern stability

Once again Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich must overcome Spanish opposition to make the Champions League final.

Gritty, uncomfortable and with a mentality to match Bayern, Atleti are an unusual test at a decisive time for Guardiola and his men. One positive for the visitors is that the home side will be weaker without centre back Diego Godin. But the combination of a still-formidable defensive unit, an intimidating home crowd and 29-goal Antoine Griezmann will cause Bayern trouble.

Jerome Boateng's potential return is huge for Bayern, but there will be no time to shake off the rust against an Atleti team that will not be as forgiving as some of Bayern's previous opponents. In the face of Atleti's aggression, Bayern cannot afford to start slowly.

Guardiola's away record won't improve but over two legs Bayern should have the edge, so long as they don't let the tie get away from them in Madrid.

Prediction: Atletico 2-1 Bayern

Van Opdorp: More road struggles ahead for Bayern Munich

Guardiola may have achieved a great many things domestically during his time in Munich, but success in the Champions League has eluded him. Most will remember his defeats to Real Madrid and Barcelona, but many forget Bayern have one away victory in their six knockout stage games away from the Allianz Arena under Guardiola – a 2-0 win against Arsenal in 2014.

This statistic is unlikely to change against perhaps the best defense in Europe. Guardiola is tasked with concocting a goal-scoring solution against a team that has conceded just 12 goals in 25 home games this season. Even without the injured Diego Godin, Atleti will be as solid as ever defensively.

Bayern's dynamic attack will help though. Arturo Vidal is hitting form at just the right time, and Franck Ribery and Douglas Costa have restored a goal-scoring threat to the flanks that can test even Atleti's backline.

Prediction: Atletico 1-1 Bayern