Bayern is up against another European heavyweight as it hosts record 14-time champion Real Madrid in their UEFA Champions League semifinal first-leg clash at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday. 

Both teams have played each other 26 times in the competition – Both teams have played each other 26 times in the competition. Madrid slightly edges the head-to-head record with 12 wins compared to Bayern’s 11. Three matches have ended in a draw.

Madrid should arrive well rested after the Spanish league moved its game at Real Sociedad to Friday, which Madrid won 1-0. 

With Madrid set to win Spain’s domestic title, coach Carlo Ancelotti kept Jude Bellingham, Vinícius Júnior, Eduardo Camavinga, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde, Antonio Rudiger and goalkeeper Andriy Lunin on the bench at the start of the league game in San Sebastian. Forward Rodrygo did not travel with the team because of the flu.

All started against Manchester City in the second leg of the quarterfinals and are expected to be back in the starting lineup against Bayern.

ALSO READ: Bayern vs Madrid: Gnabry to return, Sane doubtful for UCL semifinal

Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel is leaving at the end of the season, and the Champions League — which he won with Chelsea in 2021 — offers him the chance to go out on a high.

Two months from Bayern’s announcement that Tuchel would depart, he seems more popular than ever among sections of the Bayern support. Part of that is down to the calm, controlled way Bayern knocked out Arsenal in the second leg of their quarterfinal. Partly it’s a reaction to Bayern’s failure to hire top coaching targets like Bayer Leverkusen’s Xabi Alonso or Germany’s Julian Nagelsmann.

As Tuchel nears the end of a troubled tenure at Bayern, he’s often seemed more upbeat than ever.

“If people want me to stay, it is still an issue that has no priority,“ Tuchel said Friday when asked about a fan petition begging the club to keep him. “Even if in this case it is a pleasant issue for me.”

The injuries that have plagued Bayern this season are easing off, too. Tuchel predicted Friday that Serge Gnabry would recover from his latest problem in time to play — and score — against Madrid on Tuesday, while fellow forward Leroy Sané could also return.