We have two dream matchups here with Barcelona travelling to Bayern Munich and Dortmund hosting Real Madrid. These first legs will be absolutely critical for the German sides to get some sort of result and to avoid away goals if they hope to progress to the final. Though given the abundance of talent in both Barcelona and Real Madrid, or rather Messi and Ronaldo, it’s hard to see these Spanish teams not scoring. Either way we’re in for some entertaining football in these first legs. Will we see an El Classico Champion’s league final at Wembley, an all-German final or a Bayern/Real Madrid or Dortmund/Barcelona final? Either way the final is shaping up to be as dramatic and entertaining as ever.
Best Value Bet: Bayern Munich/Barcelona over 2.5 goals at $1.94
Bayern Munich ($2.3) Versus Barcelona ($3.4), Draw ($3.6)
Bayern had a faultless Quarter final run against Juventus winning both legs 2-0 and are in a good position to carry that form through to the semi-finals here when they host Barcelona in the first leg. Barcelona on the other hand had it a little bit tougher when they made it through to the semi’s on away goals having drawn 2-2 away in the first leg and 1-1 at home in the second. Perhaps this can largely be attributed to the hamstring injury sustained by Messi. His influence was crucial when he made a sub appearance in the second leg when his side were 1-0 down and seemingly staring down the barrel of a Champion’s league exit at the QTR finals.
Barcelona’s chances again could come down to Messi and the influence he will have on his team and the outcome of the game. Barca’s away form in the Champion’s league has been average when you compare them to their best losing to Celtic and AC Milan as well as their draw with PSG. Bayern has only lost once at home in the Champion’s League whilst only conceding 5 goals so Barca will need to be at their best to crack this defence. When you add this to the fact they have also only lost once at home in the Bundesliga all season, you can see how strong they are defensively. But then again, this is Barcelona, and you can’t take them lightly.
With such incredible attacking talent on both sides there is sure to be a few goals here with Barcelona searching for that crucial away goal and Bayern focused on a strong result knowing that they face a big test heading into the second leg away. It’s tough to predict a clear winner here with a draw looking quite likely.
Predicted result: 2-2
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.94 looks the best value here.
Borussia Dortmund ($2.88) Versus Real Madrid ($2.62), Draw ($3.55)
Dortmund hosts Real Madrid in the first leg of this semi-final having also met in the group stages earlier in the competition. Dortmund made it through to the semi’s with an exhilarating finish to their second leg tie against Malaga where they came from 2-1 down to triumph 3-2 right at the death. Real Madrid won their way through in their first leg tie despite a strong finishing Galatasaray in the second leg where they won 3-2. Dortmund have had a very strong lead up to this Semi Final where they are yet to lose a game and have only conceded 9 goals so much like Bayern Munich, they will be a strong test for Real Madrid defensively. Of these 9 goals, they did however concede 3 of these to Real Madrid in the group stages but managed a 2-1 victory at home and then a 2-2 draw away to the Spanish giants. Without taking anything away from Dortmunds performances, Real Madrid dominated these games for the most part but couldn’t get in the back of the net. Real Madrid has enough attacking power to trouble the strong Dortmund defence in the likes of Hummels.
It’s a huge effort from Ronaldo but hardly surprising that he has scored 11 times in his 10 Champion’s league appearances this season and also accounts for 48% of his teams goals so he’ll again be the key threat here. This is a game where in many ways they have nothing to lose. They’ll come out attacking from the outset in search of that away goal to heap the pressure back on Dortmund. Even if this ends in a draw, with or without an away goal, Real Madrid will be supremely confident heading into the second leg so the pressure is really on Dortmund from the outset here. We can’t underestimate Dortmund too much here as they have plenty of fantastic players and they have shown they can beat this Real Madrid side. Dortmund will put up a big fight here but it’s hard to see them not dropping an away goal at the very least.
Predicted result: Real Madrid 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.75 looks the best value here as well given that 8/10 Real Madrid games have all been over 2.5 including their two meetings with Dortmund earlier in the group stages.
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. Bet at your own risk.
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