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Champions League Semi Finals predictions – Chelsea And Bayern Munich To Nick It

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We are down to the last four in the Champions League this season and after the draw held at Nyon, both the semi finals will see mouthwatering clashes as the remaining giants are paired against each other. While Chelsea take on Atletico Madrid for a place in the finals at Lisbon in a month and a half time, holders Bayern Munich’s clash with Real Madrid in certainly an intriguing encounter for the neutrals. So who will books their place in the final at Lisbon on May 24th, the biggest of stages for any player all over Europe?

We here at Soccersouls provide our predictions on which two teams will be boarding their flights to Portugal come at may end.  

Chelsea’s tactical astuteness and Mourinho’s guile can have the edge over Simeone’s hardworking Atletcico:

Jose Mourinho

The question is can anyone break Simeone’s system this season? The Argentine has felled Real Madrid and Barcelona this season and are increasingly looking to break their hegemony in the La Liga, sitting atop the standings. Valencia were the last team to overcome the duopoly in Spain under Rafa Benitez twice in the early 2000’s but none have even come close to lifting the title in Spain. Atletico progressed through to the semis after a 2-1 aggregate win over Barcelona, the latter who should have been thanking the woodwork, which saved the Blaugrana a complete demolition at the Vicente Calderon.

The Los Colchoneros have an effective system which moulds in hardworking yet gifted players all over the line up. David Villa and Diego Costa have forged a fearful striking partnership up front while the likes of Gabi, Christian Rodriguez and Arda Turan are the heart of the narrow 4-4-2 setup.

As Sam Tighe of Bleacher Report says, “They sit deep, pack the middle, man-mark the wide men and tell the opponents’ full-backs: “cross it in—if you dare.”

Their defense has been impeccable this season with Diego Godin being the man mountain at the back and the fullbacks at the back always willing to move forward to join attacks.

Chelsea too have a potent attacking line up and it would be very tough to bet against the Blues who came rampaging back after the 3-1 loss against PSG in the first leg at Paris. Jose Mourinho reached his fifth semi finals and as John Terry rightly said, the Stamford Bridge outfit were prepared to face any situations that could have been prevalent in the tie. With the second leg at London, I feel Mourinho’s men will just edge it.

Key battle: Diego Costa vs Gary Cahill

All attention on: Thibaut Courtois

Bayern should overcome Real Madrid but not with ease:

While Bayern Munich prevailed over English Giants Manchester United by a 4-2 margin, Real Madrid survived by the skin of their teeth to progress by a 3-2 margin, following a spirited Borussia Dortmund’s fighting 2-0 win at the Westfalenstadion.  The Bavarians have met the Galacticos in five semi-finals, the Germans being victorious on 4 occasions (1976, 1987, 2001 and 2012), with Madrid’s sole last-four victory in 2000.

Head to Head : Bayern Munich wins 11, Real Madrid wins 7, Draws 2

Pep Guardiola’s tactical setup in Munich was one for the eye as the fullbacks in Lahm and Rafinha consistently played in midfield to give the numerical advantage in the middle of the park in what looked a 2-3-5 formation. Real have been inconsistent at times and with Ronaldo not in peak orm physically, Bayern surely have the advantage. The Los Blancos need to make sure they carry a lead to the Allianz Arena and remain in the tie rather than gifting the Bavarians the luxury of away goals from the Bernebeu.

Predictions: Bayern to nick it.

Key battles: Philipp Lahm vs Cristiano Ronaldo

All the eyes will be on : Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola