Liverpool Handed Dream Champions League Semifinals Draw

champions league

Martin Green

Friday, April 13, 2018 2:00 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 13, 2018 2:00 PM UTC

Liverpool was handed a dream Champions League semifinal draw as it avoided Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and was paired with Roma. Liverpool v Roma is likely to provide a more entertaining spectacle as both teams are exciting to watch.

[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"https://www.youtube.com/embed/q78P1EEAscU", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]Liverpool v Roma

The Reds must have been desperate to avoid Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, and now Jurgen Klopp’s team has a clear route to the Champions League final. Liverpool need fear no team in the world after destroying Premiership leader Man City over two legs, but it is nice to land the easiest draw possible.

Roma is well off the pace in Serie A, where it lies 21 points behind league leader Juventus in the table. It has the poorest goal difference of any team in the Italian top five, because it does not score many goals. It has managed 1.6 goals per game this season, compared to two goals per game for Liverpool.

It has to be said that Roma was brilliant in its second leg tie against Barcelona. Daniele De Rossi and Co. were 4-1 down on aggregate after taking a drubbing at the Nou Camp, but they showed great courage and determination to beat the Champions League favorite 3-0 on Tuesday. It has a magnificent midfield, blessed with the talents of De Rossi, Kevin Stootman and Radja Nainggolan, while striker Edin Dzeko is a real handful.

But Liverpool will be full of confidence after beating Man City 3-0 at Anfield and 2-1 at The Etihad. The Citizens have only lost six times this season, and three of them have been at the hands of Liverpool. Mo Salah is in sensational form up front, and it will be a massive occasion for him as he joined Liverpool from Roma. Salah to score at any time will be a great bet, as he should break the hearts of his former employers. Liverpool has been absolutely rampant and you can expect it to swarm all over Roma at Anfield in the opening game, so Liverpool looks good at -180 with Pinnacle, and also Liverpool -1 on the handicap at -105 appeals. Liverpool is just -225 with Bet365 to qualify, and it should get the job done.

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It had to be, didn't it?@LFC v @OfficialASRoma: @22mosalah returns to Rome. 🤩#UCLdraw pic.twitter.com/GBxnbuU1PP

— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 13, 2018
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Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

Bayern held firm to see off Sevilla in the previous round and its reward is a grudge match against Real Madrid. Last season it was extremely aggrieved after poor refereeing decisions caused it to crash out against Real Madrid in the Champions League knockout stage. Bayern had been the better team for much of the contest, and then had to watch on as Real won the trophy for a second year running.

This has been a strange season for Real Madrid, which is well behind Barcelona in La Liga, but redemption could come from winning the Champions League for the third time in a row. This team seems perfectly equipped for this competition and always seems to find a way to progress. In Luka Modric, Isco, Casemiro and Toni Kroos, it has arguably the world’s best midfield, and Cristiano Ronaldo is typically unplayable up front.

But Bayern also has a tremendous midfield, packed with the likes of Arturo Vidal and Thiago Alcantara, and it has its own superstar striker in Robert Lewandowski. Meanwhile, you would have to say that Bayern Munich has the better defense and a stronger bench. It should prove to be a phenomenally close tie, but as always Ronaldo can make the difference. He put Juventus to the sword with three goals over two legs in the previous round, including an outrageous bicycle kick, and Ronaldo to score at any time looks like a must bet in both legs of this clash.

The first leg is in Munich, and Real to win at +250 looks like a really tempting set of odds after the way it demolished Juventus in Turin. It is -125 with Ladbrokes and -126 with Pinnacle to qualify and that also looks like a strong option. You could put it in a double with Liverpool to qualify, as Real Madrid v Liverpool looks to be the most likely final, and what a thriller that would be.

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