Champions League Semi-final Preview
Just four teams remain in the competiton as we enter the semi-final stage. Real Madrid,Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid are the sides who will battle for the title.
Manchester City vs Real Madrid
Manchester City are in the semi-finals for the first time in the club’s history. They welcome ten time winners Real Madrid to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night in what looks set to be a fascinating encounter. City boss Manuel Pelegrini faces former employers Madrid and his tactical battle against Real coach Zinedine Zidan looks certain to decide the tie.
Manchester City defeated PSG in the quarter-final stage putting in impressive home and away performances. Madrid came from behind to defeat Wolfsburg last time out but needed a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick to progress. Crucially Ronaldo and striker Karim Benzema face a race against time to prove their fitness after sustaining injuries over the last week. Both sides had victories at the weekend City comprehensively defeated Stoke 4-0 while Madrid were forced to come from behind to beat Rayo Vallecano 3-2. Gareth Bale lead the Madrid comeback and will be a marked man tomorrow night.
Real Madrid have shown their weaknesses already this year and I honestly believe Manchester City have a credible chance at defeating the Spanish side.
Atletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich
Atletico Madrid host German giants Bayern Munich on Wednesday night which will be a David and Goliath battle. Atletico Madrid’s coach Diego Simeone knows how to claim the scalps of some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Two years ago on route to the final Atletico knocked out Chelsea and the trend doesn’t look like stopping this year already defeating last year’s winners FC Barcelona.
Bayern led by Pep Guardiola have fought hard in this year’s competiton memorably taking Juventus to extra time in the last 16 of the competiton before holding off a Benfica comeback last time out. Munich are a formidable force in attack but face up against one of Europe’s toughest defences with Atletico’s Diego Godin and company well able to shut up shop. Both sides had wins at the weekend and this tie really looks to be a case of defence vs attack. The Vincente Caledron will be rocking on Wednesday night and Bayern should take an away goal if they can get it.
Two fascinating games await this week and they really are too close to call.