The Champions League Draw made two mouth-watering matches to look forward to in the semi-finals. Many experts were making Champions League final predictions that Barcelona would be there, but they were eliminated by Atletico Madrid. It is the first time that Manchester City has reached it to this point of the competition, and they will desperately want to win it for Manuel Pellegrini. The City manager is being replaced in the summer by current Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola. It would be fascinating to see the two managers face off against each other in the final.
Below is a preview of the matches along with my Champions League semifinal predictions:
Manchester City F.C vs. Real Madrid F.C
City against Madrid is an exciting match and one that is hard to make Champions League picks for. Both teams are very similar on their attacking force is stronger than their defence. Additionally, both team heavily reliant on their world-class players, and it is likely to be a moment of genius from one of these that wins the tie for their team.
Man City`s only chance of silverware this season is by winning the Champions League. Their Premier League title bid faded in February, which most blame the fact that a new manager was announced. The players seemed not to give their all once the news was announced that Pep Guardiola will take over from Manuel Pellegrini.
Injuries this season have hit City hard. When both Kompany and De Bruyne were out, the team form suffered badly. The defence leaked goals, and the attack lost its roofless streak. Since De Bruyne has come back, the Blues have looked like the top team that they are. He has banged in the goals, and it was down to him scoring against PSG in the quarterfinal that saw them from to the semifinal. If you are making Champions League tips predictions, you may want to put some money on him scoring in one of the legs.
Bookies making Champions League betting predictions have Real Madrid as the favorites going into the match. They have played in 26 semifinals, and it is their sixth time in a row they have made it to this point.
When Madrid won the competition back in 2014, they rode their luck at lot. They managed to get through a very tough group that year and this time around the draw have been a lot kinder to them. It will be the first time that manager Zinedine Zidane has managed a team in the semis. He has lots of experience playing in them, so it should make the task in hand a lot easier.
Pellegrini was in charge of Madrid for a whole season. He was very unlucky during his time as head coach as his team accumulated 96 points but still lost out to Barcelona. Over the past two season that points tally would have been enough to secure the La Liga title. He was unable to get Real to the finals of the Champions League during his tenure. He managed to make the last 16 and has managed to beat that achievement with City.
Next season Pellegrini will be looking for new employment. If he can reach the final of the Champions League, it will help his prospects of landing a job at one of the big clubs again. It would also make his replacement; Guardiola has a more difficult season in his first year in charge of the Blues.
My Champions League semi-final predictions are 3 – 2 to Madrid.
Bayern Munich F.C vs. Atletico Madrid F.C
Many football experts making Champions League final predictions think that the winner of the competition will be one of these two teams. They have the best managers left in the tournament who are exceptional tacticians. Diego Simeone is an expert at laying his team out, so they are rock solid in defence. In La Liga this season so far his team has played 32 games and only conceded 16 goals in the process. That is a very impressive achievement when you consider La Liga has one of the highest goals scored per game ratio.
Madrid in their last match in the competition managed to knock out Barcelona. They were in most people Champions League picks as the favorite, and it was an impressive display by Simeone`s men. If they do manage to win it this season, it will be a very impressive feat when you look at the teams they have had to face so far.
Simeone has built a formidable side, and his reputation continues to grow as a coach. His team is well-organized and will die for the cause. Due to Barcelona slipping up in La Liga in recent weeks, they are in with a good chance to do the league and Champions League double. If they do make it, Simeone will be seen as the best coach in Europe.
Guardiola is known as the best manager in the world, and City is lucky to have landed his signature. He may not have made the final over the last three years but during his seven years managing, his teams have reached the semifinals at the very least. His undoing over recent years has been Spanish sides, who have knocked out his team for the last two season. He will desperately wanting to put the record straight and will not want to walk away from Munich without winning them the world’s most prestigious competition.
Munich will need their star players’ Ribery, Lahm, Costa and Alcantara to hit top form. Anything under that and their team will be in trouble. It is going to be a tough job to break down the Madrid defence, but they have the capability to do it.
My Champions League semi-final predictions are 0 – 1 to Atletico Madrid.