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Wednesday, 21st April 2010
Kick Off : 19:45 BST
Venue : Allianz Arena, Munich
The interesting Champions League semi-final first leg fixture between Bayern Munich and French side Lyon will be played at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday 21st April 2010, kick-off set for 7:45 PM. Bayern conquered Manchester United in the last round and are in the semi-finals of the Champions for the first time since they were the winners back in 2001. They warmed up for the game in style recording a 7-0 win against Hannover that leaves them two points clear of second place Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga, but their focus is the pursuit of a fifth Champions League trophy.
Veteran defender Phillip Lahm gave a clear account of the situation speaking to reporters and said that semi-finals in relevant tournaments are usually balanced. The French side have respect for Bayern Munich because they know they can always score, but Lyon are also very strong. The Germans are in very good form continued Lahm and the plan seems to be not to concede goals. Winning by 1-0 would be good for the Germans although any win will always be better than a draw or a loss.
Bayern Munich reports that striker Miroslav Klose is available for the semi-final after overcoming a stomach virus. Mark van Bommel and Holger Badstuber are suspended.
Lyon will be without Jean Makoun (groin), Mathieu Bodmer (thigh) and Jean-Alain Boumsong (calf). The travel in mini-van to Munich might have some impact in fitness too.
The playing style of Lyon is to slow things down on the pitch and not to play a fluid game. Bayern will probably have the possession of the ball, but they have to make sure they are protected at the back. Lyon are currently positioned third in Ligue 1 in France, nine points behind leaders Marseille and almost out of the title race, however their European campaign has been excellent and as Lyon couch Claude Puel said, they will be a tough nut to crack for Bayern.
The French feel respect for the Germans though, an always dangerous squad especially in big matches, a side that just knocked out Manchester United. The likes of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are hitting hard for them and Lyon knows what to expect. Indeed, the French side may no longer be amongst the elite in their own country, but Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bordeaux learned that this squad can win against the best that Europe has to offer.
My prediction: 3-1