The Spanish elite will meet the top two in Germany in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals after today’s draw paired FC Bayern München with FC Barcelona and pitted Borussia Dortmund against Real Madrid CF.
Both first legs will take place in Germany on 23 and 24 April, with the returns in Spain on 30 April and 1 May after the open draw at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, conducted by UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino and former Netherlands striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.
FC Bayern München (GER) v FC Barcelona (ESP) – 23 April, 1 May
Borussia Dortmund (GER) v Real Madrid CF (ESP) – 24 April, 30 April
Final (25 May, Wembley Stadium)
For administrative purposes, a draw was made to determine who will be the designated home team for the final. The winners of the Dortmund v Madrid tie were selected first.
Bayern v Barcelona
Bayern W3, D2, Barcelona W1
Bayern’s European Cup semi-final record: W9 L5
Barcelona’s European Cup semi-final record: W6 A7
Dortmund v Madrid
Dortmund W1, D3, Madrid W2
Dortmund’s European Cup semi-final record: W1 L2
Madrid’s European Cup semi-final record: W12 L11
Considering there are now only 4 teams remaining in the competition, it’s time to predict the eventual winner.
A Barcelona v Real Madrid final, otherwise known as El Clasico, would be a fantastic occasion. However I don’t think the semi-final ties will prove to be that simple.
Bayern v Barca
Barca are arguably the strongest side yet again this season, despite this they have displayed defensive frailties on several occasions throughout the competition. So far they have made steady progress with only the occasional glimpse of what they are genuinely capable of. Regardless, I believe Bayern will come out on-top in this match-up. The German side have a solid side, filled with quality players. This season’s competition offers them a chance to redeem last year’s defeat to Chelsea.
Barcelona do have the world’s best player, however their challenge lives and dies on him being fit for the rest of the tournament. In my opinion, the Spanish side’s reliance on the Argentine forward will cost them this time round.
Borussia v Madrid
Meanwhile, in the second semi-final match-up, Madrid v Dortmund is also a very hard match to call. It’s easy to write off Dortmund as the weaker side, but they have plenty of quality amongst their ranks. This fixture has all the potential needed for an upset.
Despite, I think Madrid will succeed over the two legs. Particularly with the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo at their disposal.
On the 25th May, I expect to see Bayern Munich facing off against Real Madrid at Wembley, with the German side succeeding as the eventual winner of the tournament.
Please feel free to comment with your thoughts and predictions.