Two European football heavyweights collide once more at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday when Bayern Munich travel to Real Madrid for the return leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final.
The Madridistas hold the advantage after winning the first leg 2-1 in Munich last Wednesday, but all is not lost for the Bavarians. bundesliga.com has identified five good reasons the Bundesliga champions will turn it around.
1) Lewy's back!
He sat out the first leg with injury but Bayern have been given a huge boost with news that Robert Lewandowski should be fit for Tuesday night, and Real will not have forgotten his one-man show against them back in the 2012/13 semi-finals. Then at Borussia Dortmund, the Pole became the first man to score four goals in a Champions League semi-final and hit the first European hat-trick against Madrid. Lewandowski's nose for goal has only been sharpened by his move to Bayern, and he has 46 strikes to his name in 45 matches for club and country this season. He will be itching to test his mettle against the 11-time European champions once again.
2) Case for the defence
Despite boasting a formidable attack, Real will know of Bayern's solidity away from home this term. Carlo Ancelotti's side have let in just nine goals on the road all season long domestically, the fewest of any side in any of Europe's top five leagues. Javi Martinez is suspended following his red card in the first leg, whilst Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng are injury doubts. Midfielder Joshua Kimmich proved a more than able depute at centre-back for most of last season, though, whilst there's also the small matter of Manuel Neuer, the world's best goalkeeper, standing behind them as the last line of defence against a Real side likely to take the game to the Bundesliga champions.
3) Arjen Robben: predictable, but unstoppable
It's a familiar recipe, simple to prepare and absolutely irresistible. Start with one pacy foray down the right, blend in a cut inside while ensuring ball remains stapled to left foot, add a dash of a feint to keep defender and goalkeeper guessing, top with devastating curling shot into far corner. Serves all.
Even Bayern's evergreen Dutchman must have lost count of the number of times he has scored with his trademark move. Like the rest of us, Sergio Ramos and Co. will have seen it before, especially having played alongside Robben in Madrid between 2007 and 2009. Question is - as always - will the Madrid defence be able to do anything about it?
Watch: Another Arjen Robben special in Der Klassiker
4) From A to Z: master and student
The inside track on Madrid does not stop with Robben. Bayern boss Ancelotti is revered in the Spanish capital for bringing La Decima, the tenth Champions League trophy, to the Santiago Bernabeu by beating neighbours Atletico in the 2013/14 final. Not only are most of Madrid's key players the same as the ones the Italian guided to that success, but the man currently orchestrating their challenge, Zinedine Zidane, is also an Ancelotti protege.
The former Madrid and France legend sat in the dug-out alongside the current Bayern coach for that Champions League-winning season. Undoubtedly a quick learner, Zidane might have picked up a trick or two, but Ancelotti has 150-odd games in the competition under his belt, ten times more than his Madrid counterpart. Experience is something you cannot learn.
5) Swansong success for Lahm and Alonso?
With 229 Champions League appearances and three Champions League winner's medals between them, former Madrid man Xabi Alonso and Philipp Lahm have already etched their names inside the pantheon of the competition's greats. They also know that they have just one last chance to add yet more lustre to their already brightly-polished reputations with the pair having decided this season is their last. Very often, the difference between teams is motivation. Ally that with the perfect marriage of talent and experience and you have football's holy trinity.
Watch: Xabi Alonso's top 5 Bundesliga goals