Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid preview - Bale ready for Bayern clash



Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 by PA

Gareth Bale insists he is fit and raring to go ahead of Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final second-leg clash at Bayern Munich.

Madrid take a 1-0 lead to the Allianz Arena after Karim Benzema's goal decided the first meeting.

Bale only came on 17 minutes from the end of that match after struggling with illness in the build-up and he missed the weekend win over Osasuna, but the Welshman said he was ready to take on the German giants on Tuesday.

"I feel good," he said. "After a couple of workouts I'm recovered and I hope to play tomorrow.

"We are happy with the situation we are in. We will concentrate on the remaining games and try to win. When you arrive at this club you realise there are expectations.

"We want to win everything we play for and try to win the Champions League."

Madrid are now favourites to lift the trophy after shutting out Pep Guardiola's side in the first meeting, the visitors creating few chances despite dominating possession, but Bale knows the hard work is far from over.

Bayern, after all, hit five in the Bundesliga at the weekend.

"It will be a very difficult match against Bayern," the former Tottenham player said. "It will be a great battle, a tough, tough game.

"The match will be tight and there will be little between the teams. We hope to do our job, but it will be a fantastic game and we are 100 percent ready.

"I prefer to play offensively, but we will have to know how to defend."

Boss Carlo Ancelotti is chasing a treble in his first season in charge at the Bernabeu, with his side having already beaten Barcelona to the Copa del Rey crown - thanks to a wonder goal from Bale - and lying third in La Liga.

But the Italian knows a place in the Champions League final in Lisbon is still far from certain.

"I think no one is so shallow to think that we have already won," he said. "Tomorrow's game is very complicated.

"We play against a great team and we have a small advantage from the first leg, but we need to enjoy it. We are not so foolish to think that we have already won."

Madrid are set to have Cristiano Ronaldo fit for the clash. The Portugal forward lacked match sharpness in the first meeting as he returned from injury and came off for Bale.

Bayern are only without defender Daniel van Buyten, with the Germans able to rest the likes of Arjen Robben, Philipp Lahm and Mario Gotze for the 5-2 win over Werder Bremen at the weekend ahead of their biggest match of the season.

And coach Pep Guardiola is banking on Franck Ribery to rise to the occasion.

Ribery was criticised for his performance in Spain when the Germans lacked a cutting edge, but he shone on Saturday and Guardiola is expecting him to play another starring role on Tuesday.

"Franck played like he was possessed at the weekend," Guardiola said. "He fights and fights and for this reason the people love him here at the Allianz Arena.

"He is one of the best players in the history of Bayern Munich and we need his help."

Guardiola knows there "will be a lot of quality on the field", though, with Madrid likely to have Bale and Ronaldo playing. And the Bayern boss is confident the Spaniards will not play for a draw, which would see them through to the final.

"I really can't imagine them playing for that result for the full 90 minutes," the Catalan said.

"They don't have the mentality just to stick men behind the ball and defend.

"They have the quality to change their system and it's better if we keep them at a safe distance from our goal. They are a top team."



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