Champions League

Ronaldo? Real must worry about Lewandowski - Heynckes

2018-04-25 10:56
Cristiano Ronaldo (Gallo Images)

Munich - Jupp Heynckes says Real Madrid should worry about Robert Lewandowski just as much as Bayern Munich will be focused on stopping Cristiano Ronaldo in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg.

"Cristiano has had an incredible career, but we have Robert Lewandowski, who has scored 38 goals, so the question should be asked who will stop him?" said Bayern coach Heynckes.

The German champions host holders Real in a crunch clash of European powerhouses at the Allianz Arena with the return leg on May 1 in Madrid.

Two of this season's deadliest goalscorers will go head-to-head when Ronaldo, with 42 goals in 39 games, faces Lewandowski, who has scored 39 times in 43 matches.

Both teams will be at near full-strength, but Bayern are waiting on left-back David Alaba who has a thigh injury.

Much of the pre-match focus has been on Ronaldo, who has scored 15 goals and hit the net in each of Madrid's 10 Champions League games this season.

Ronaldo has scored nine goals in six games against Bayern, including five over two legs when Real won 6-3 on aggregate in last season's quarter-finals.

"Cristiano is a wonderful athlete - you can see that with the goals he scores," said Bayern defender Jerome Boateng.

"I don't think he has any weaknesses. We can only defend against him as a team."

Score to settle

Bayern have a score to settle with the Spaniards, who have won five of their last six meetings.

Real handed the Bavarians their heaviest European home defeat when they won 4-0 in Munich in the 2014 semi-finals.

Nevertheless, the record 12-time winners know they will be tested at the Allianz Arena.

"Ajren Robben, Lewandowski and Franck Ribery are three very difficult players to defend against," said Real defender Dani Carvajal.

"They could score with any chance."

The semi-final will also give James Rodriguez the chance to show Real what they are missing.

James has shone at Bayern since leaving Real on a two-year loan deal last July at the end of three often difficult seasons in Madrid.

"James loves to play football, so of course he'll want to play well, but not to show me or prove me wrong," said Real coach Zinedine Zidane.

Zidane's appointment as Madrid coach in January 2016 was a setback for James as the Frenchman gave him limited opportunities and often left him on the bench.

"The only reason he went was that he wanted to play more football," insisted Zidane, denying any tension between the pair.

Real midfielder Toni Kroos, who won the 2013 treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles with Bayern, says the Spaniards are hungry for a third straight European crown.

"We want to reach the final - it's our last chance to win a title this season, as it was two years ago," said Kroos.

"We are highly motivated to defend our title.

"We know it will be very difficult, but we've already beaten Paris (Saint-Germain) and Juventus on our way here.

"Expectation levels at both clubs are similar -- you set out to win every competition.

"Playing in the Champions League is a special motivation for us, as whoever wins in the end can call themselves the best team in Europe.

"Bayern will be just as hungry.

"They are in better shape than last year and in top form, but we are here to change that."

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Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
AEK Athens v Ajax, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Viktoria Plzen, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Valencia, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v Benfica, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v Young Boys, Old Trafford 22:00
Roma v Real Madrid, Stadio Olimpico 22:00
Hoffenheim v Shakhtar Donetsk, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 22:00
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Atletico Madrid v Monaco, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 19:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Galatasaray, RZD Arena 19:55
Porto v Schalke 04, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
PSG v Liverpool, Parc des Princes 22:00
PSV v Barcelona, Philips Stadion 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge, Signal-Iduna-Park 22:00
Napoli v Crvena Zvezda, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Internazionale, Wembley Stadium 22:00
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