Well, the quarter finals of the Champions League are over, and we have the semi-finalists. Two of them are who you’d expect, and two are complete surprises (considering the predictions). Bayern Munich have a chance of facing Liverpool, AS Roma, or Real Madrid in the semi finals. How do the Bavarians stack up against these opponents? Read on to find out:
Path to the semis: Beat a high-flying Manchester City side coached by Pep Guardiola 5-1 on aggregate.
Coach: Jurgen Klopp (remember him?)
Key Players: Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool, as I’ve said before in these previews, are the greatest glass cannon in football. Jurgen Klopp has made a system that uses manic gegenpressing and speedy inverted wingers that can rip any opposition to shreds — just ask Manchester City. However, their defense is a weak point that can be exploited. Liverpool rely on their attack to close games out with a dominant scoreline. In a close fought game, they are prone to errors and conceding goals. Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet are also not the most rock-solid goalkeepers when put under pressure, and that is another potential weakness in the side.
However, with their abundance of pace and skill on the counterattack, Liverpool are a hard-counter to Jupp Heynckes’ Bayern. It would be better if they just draw Real Madrid and save us the trouble.
Path to the semis: Beat Barcelona 4-4 on away goals, by mounting an incredible comeback after going 4-1 down in the first leg.
Coach: Eusebio Di Francesco
Key players: Daniele De Rossi, Radja Nainggolan, Alisson
Roma are the real surprise of the semi-finals. When the Italian club drew Barcelona, literally no one expected them to make it to the next round. Despite this, Bayern Munich should be worried, because there are no easy games at this stage of the competition. Roma are a strong unit of veteran players, led by a young coach who is amongst the most highly rated in Europe. They are solid in every area of the pitch — be it attack, defense, midfield, or even the goalkeeper.
Despite this, Roma are likely the easiest opponents Bayern Munich could hope to get. “Easiest” being a relative term, of course. Roma would likely be the strongest team we’ve faced all year.
Path to the semis: Beat Juventus 3-0 in the away leg, earned a dubious penalty in Madrid that saw them go through 4-3 on aggregate. Sound familiar?
Coach: Zinedine Zidane
The referees, Cristiano Ronaldo, Toni Kroos
We all know how it goes with Real Madrid. No introduction needed. They’ve won the Champions League three times in the last four years, and are possibly the strongest team left in the competition. Love him or hate him, Cristiano Ronaldo is a world class goalscorer, and under Zinedine Zidane Madrid have an iron mentality that make them almost impossible to beat in the Champions League. Bayern fans may want revenge for what happened the year before, but a game against Real might not end the way we want it to, for various reasons.
The Champions League semi final draw will take place at the UEFA Headqquarters in Nyon on Friday. It will begin at 13:00 CET.
Who do you want to face in the Champions League semi finals?
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