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Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid: Can Cristiano Ronaldo be stopped in Champions League?

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UCL semi-finals: Things you need to know (0:59)

ESPN's Alison Bender previews the Champions League semi-final matches where Liverpool take on AS Roma and Real Madrid face Bayern Munich. (0:59)

ESPN FC asked football experts around the world for their thoughts on a mouthwatering semifinal clash in Munich between German champions Bayern and the holders Real Madrid.

Mark Ogden: ESPN FC Senior Football Writer - @MarkOgden_

A game that many would have wanted to see as the final, but old rivalries must be renewed at the semifinal stage again. Real go into the tie as favourites, simply because they have Cristiano Ronaldo, who remains a player who can win any game, at any time, against any opponent.

But Bayern may see this game as the last chance for this group of players to win the Champions League, with the increasingly financial might of the Premier League beginning to emerge just as the German champions start to resemble an ageing squad in need of renewal. So there is plenty of stake in the Allianz Arena for Jupp Heynckes' team.

Key player: Cristiano Ronaldo

Prediction: Bayern 1-1 Real

Mark Lovell: ESPN FC Bayern Munich correspondent - @LovellLowdown

Write Bayern off at your peril. Last season, injury-hit Bayern won in 90 minutes against the odds in the Bernabeu, before succumbing with 10-men in extra time against the eventual winners. This time around, with Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller both fit and fresh, Bayern have the tools to get the job done at home against a Real side that has regularly flattered to deceive all season.

Key Player: Sven Ulreich: Bayern's backup keeper has been outstanding since Heynckes took charge in October and he will need another strong performance to keep Ronaldo and co at bay.

Prediction: Bayern 3-1 Real

Dermot Corrigan: ESPN FC Real Madrid correspondent - @dermotmcorrigan

No great shock here, but Ronaldo remains absolutely vital for Madrid. Even more so than previous years, as shown by the five time Ballon d'Or finding the net in every CL game so far this season, and scoring three and assisting the other in the 4-3 aggregate passage past Juventus in the quarterfinals.

Ronaldo could even play up front on us his own in Munich, with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale both potentially left on the bench as Zidane goes for a 4-5-1 shape specially organised to supply him with as many penalty area chances as possible to nab a crucial away goal.

Key player: Cristiano Ronaldo

Prediction: Bayern 1-1 Real

Derek Rae: ESPN World soccer commentator - @RaeComm

Bayern badly want to reverse an injustice. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge still regularly refers back to the decisions that went against them in last year's tempestuous quarterfinal. Heynckes will be at the forefront of the story: echoes of the 2013 treble year, his past with Real Madrid including winning the Champions League with them. Without Heynckes, Bayern would quite simply not be in the last four.

If Real Madrid play as poorly as they did in the second leg against Juventus, I can't see them getting to the final. Bayern to win this first leg 3-1 on a loud night at the Allianz Arena.

Key Player: Thomas Muller

Prediction: Bayern 3-1 Real