Six months after being pulled from retirement, called by his old friend Uli Hoeness and asked to coach Bayern for a fourth time, he leads his club into another semi-final. The German champions, itching for revenge after last year's elimination to Real in their fourth successive exit in the competition to a Spanish opponent, are already without Chile worldwide Arturo Vidal, sidelined for the rest of the season following surgery.
Alaba, a free-kick expert, sat out Bayern's final training on Tuesday with a thigh strain, but Heynckes hopes the left-back will be fit.
Madrid coach Zidane said his side were going "to think positively" despite coming under criticism in recent weeks for missing a number of clear goalscoring chances.
Ronaldo in a Real team centred on playing to his strengths is nothing new, but as the Portugese has grown narrower in his scope, perhaps his team-mates have had to sharpen their focus in providing service to him.
They also handed Bayern a record 4-0 home defeat in the 2014 semi-finals.
Heynckes has two options for his starting 11 in the Munich arena on Wednesday.
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"The trio of Robben, Lewandowski and Ribery are the best and they will be the most hard to defend against", Marca quotes Carvajal as saying.
"They could score with any chance".
"I've never had any problem with James, despite what the media might say", Zidane added.
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.
Zidane is in the hunt for the same distinction after prevailing in the past two finals and his measured approach to management has won Heynckes' respect.
"Expectation levels at both clubs are similar - you set out to win every competition".
In 2013, he said farewell after guiding Bayern to another Champions League win, something that eluded his otherwise much-lauded successor Pep Guardiola, and could say goodbye again with the same treble of Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League. "And Bayern is not just a good team, it's a great club".