Published on April 23rd, 2013 | by Sportingly Better Tipster0
Champions League Semi Final Predictions – 23-24 April
Arguably the top four sides in Europe meet in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League this week, as Bayern Munich face Barcelona on Tuesday and Borussia Dortmund host Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Sportingly Better picks out the best Champions League predictions from both semi-finals this week.
Champions League Predictions
Bayern Munich (2.15) v Barcelona (3.60); Draw (3.60)
Victories against Juventus in both quarter final legs were enough to book Bayern’s place in the semi-final, as Jupp Heynckes’ side continue to chase an unprecedented treble.
Striker Mario Mandzukic who scored in Turin, will miss Tuesday’s game through suspension, so Claudio Pizarro and Mario Gomez will battle it out for the lone spot up front.
Thomas Muller will come into the side, with Toni Kroos injured, so Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are likely to be asked to stretch Barcelona out and play wider.
Die Bayern brushed aside Hannover 6-1 on Saturday, despite resting a handful of first team players for this match and the Bundesliga champions’ imperious form this season shows no sign of relenting.
Visitors Barcelona have won just one of their last five games in the Champions League and the Catalan’s dominance on the continent appears to be waning.
Talisman Lionel Messi has missed the last three games in La Liga, but the diminutive maestro is expected to play in Tuesday’s match at the Allianz Arena.
Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano are both missing from the back, so Tito Vilanova will have to decide between Marc Bartra, Alex Song and Eric Abidal in defence.
Barcelona have won only three of their last 15 away matches in the knockout stages of the Champions League, but the runaway La Liga leaders are not to be underestimated despite their falling displays in Europe.
Given Barca’s injury problems at the back, Bayern Munich are likely to score and the German champions look set to take a crucial lead into the second leg in Spain.
Bayern Munich to qualify @2.05
Bayern Munich over 5.5 corners @1.83
Borussia Dortmund (2.87) v Real Madrid (2.55); Draw (3.50)
Late goals from Marco Reus and Felipe Santana were enough to take Borussia Dortmund into the UEFA Champions League semi-finals and the German side will be hoping to spring another surprise on Wednesday.
Die Borussen are undefeated in their last 10 matches in the Champions League, a run which also includes a 2-1 victory against Real Madrid at the Westfalenstadion when these two sides met in October.
A 2-2 battle at the Bernabeu saw Jose Mourinho label the German side as “candidates to win the tournament” and the Bundesliga outfit have been every bit as good as the “Special One’s” word.
Sebastian Kehl remains a doubt in what is otherwise a fully fit squad, so Sven Bender will get the nod alongside Ilkay Gundogan in the centre of midfield.
Visitors Real Madrid rested a handful of their players during their 3-1 victory over Real Betis on the weekend, leaving Angel Di Maria, Pepe and Sami Khedira fresh for the trip to the Westfalenstadion.
Sergio Ramos may move to right back following Alvaro Arbeloa’s suspension, so Rafael Varane could partner Pepe at centre half.
Thirteen of Real Madrid’s last 15 games in the UEFA Champions League have gone over the 2.5 goals mark and despite the historic tendency for semi-final matches to go under 2.5 goals, both teams are expected to find the net on Wednesday.
Jose Mourinho will have learned his gameplan from Real Madrid’s two previous meetings between the two sides and the semi-final favourites will be well fancied to spring a result in Germany on Wednesday.
Both teams to score (Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid) @1.53
Real Madrid Draw No Bet @1.80
Author Credit: Jonathan Day
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rayand/