As the UEFA Champions League enters the semifinal phase, Real Madrid and Barcelona are on the verge to making it an El Classico final but Bayern Munich and Chelsea will have plenty to say.
THE MOTIVATED AND THE RUTHLESS
BAYERN MUNICH VS REAL MADRID (ALLIANZ ARENA)
Tuesday 17 April 2012: 20:45 CAT
This is a mouthwatering clash semifinal, both teams have been impressive throughout the competition but now one of them has to go out. Real Madrid are a machine going forward and Ronaldo is on fire having scored 41 goals in the domestic league and setting a new record alongside Lionel Messi.
Every week you see Jose Mourinho’s men thrashing Spanish teams but in all fairness their schedule has been easy in the Champions League, they haven’t been really tested.
It is difficult to predict the winner because Munich are a great side and nothing motivates them more than the prospect of a home final. The home side has great attacking players so are Real Madrid. In the mid-field the likes of Xabi Alonso and Bastian Scweinsteiger are all great players.
It will be tremendous to see who comes out top because it’s hard to envisage how it will pan out because both sides are evenly matched.
The interesting thing will be position, Madrid have enjoyed possession against their opponents, the only time they struggled was against Barcelona in a league match. On the other hand Munich are a great passing side and they like to keep the ball. Let’s see how they handle each other but something has to give.
THE FAMILIAR FOES MEET AGAIN
CHELSEA vs. BARCELONA (STAMFORD BRIDGE)
Wednesday 18 April 2012: 20:45
Chelsea managed to scrape to the last four after beating Portuguese outfit, Benfica but the Blues were not anywhere near impressive. This Chelsea side is vulnerable especially when you play quick football and keep the position in the mid-field.
The likes of Lampard and Mikel struggled against Benfica especially when their defensive duties were needed and that must be a concern because against the Catalans they will need to up their game.
Since Roberto Di Matteo came in he has set them in such a way that his system gets the best out of a player who is certainly not at his best at the moment and thus Juan Mata. They always play him but if he is not on the ball and on the game, they are really struggling unless they start hitting Drogba long.
They are still battling to play football compared to the Chelsea that played Barca 3 years ago. When you look at the transformation that AVB wanted to bring, they are not anywhere near it.
Barcelona will be playing in their fifth semifinal in a row and are about to retain the title, something that has never been done in the Champions League era. What we have seen with Barcelona is the kind of the way you have to deal with them; you have to be a little braver because you will not be allowed to possess Barca. At the end of the day you are forced to play on a counter attack but it’s just how far you go with it. The more you throw more players forward to supplement the counter attack, the more chance you will concede against them. Both of the teams haven’t been impressive this season but it should be interesting.
How do you see the semi finals panning out and what’s the worst that could happen? I would love to hear your predictions again.