The Champions League semifinals are tense and leveled as much as they can cab. Although while PSG-Manchester City appears to everybody as the final in advance, in Real Madrid-Chelsea instead there is the only outsider of the four that is probably inferior to the others on all possible points of view. It’s 5 years since the last time a Champions first leg semifinal ended 0-0, and eventually was the only other reached by Manchester City, against Real Madrid, but this time the goals seem to reign upon on them both.
Real Madrid vs. Chelsea
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 – 03:00 PM EDT at Alfredo di Stéfano Stadium
All the possible threats that a Real Madrid led by Zinedine Zidane can throw are around this game. The merengues Zizou version are clever, foxy, experienced, neverending, and not only historically but the way they've knocked out Liverpool and beat Barcelona within days proved that they era exactly so, in the right moment, and nothing has changed yet.
On the other side, Chelsea are not only the unexpected one among the four but also those who are discovering themselves, week by week, how good they can be. A super young bunch of players, that since Thomas Tuchel took over in January has incredibly improved game by game, until showing an overwhelming quality first against Atletico Madrid and then in the first leg against FC Porto. Then, something happened: the return leg proved hard and they weren't that brilliant and possibly felt the pressure of just delivering the qualification.
Because one thing is winning when you are not expected to, and another is being stronger than any pressure. Basically, the field on which Real Madrid and Zidane are the masters of all. The Blancos can win this in the way they know, although in spite of Militao having performed brilliantly against Barça and Liverpool, still not having Sergio Ramos is a huge blow.
Their 4-3-3 should be faced by a 3-4-3 (switching into a 3-4-2-1) with Reece James and Ben Chilwell on the flanks and the main doubt being Kai Havertz (more likely) over Hakim Ziyech. Dealing with Junior Vinicius on the side, holding Karim Benzema, and hoping that Kanté-Jorginho challenge Kroos-Casemiro-Modric are the main concerns. A 2-1 could be on cards.
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester City
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - 03:00 PM EDT at Parc des Princes
Being in the last 4 in the Champions League is very remarkable, but still, this is the semifinal between the two that would consider a disappointment even to lose in the final. In spite of PSG being the runner-up, still not many would have expected Mauricio Pochettino to be so successful in only 4 months, and definitely, there were few who would have bet on PSG to survive the double tie with Barcelona and Bayern.
Instead, Manchester City were way luckier in the draw, but while they are playing the best football in Europe, still when the tense moment comes once again they showed their mentality limit in Europe, giving Borussia Dortmund the concrete chance to hope to go through. This limit has probably handed to PSG the very small advantage that is breaking the otherwise perfect balance between the two.
We could call it the Arab derby, considering the ownerships from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but that doesn't play a part in this, while it is worth remembering how Pochettino was able to put Pep in the bag in the Champions League quarterfinals two years ago. But you can be sure Pep Guardiola won't betray his nature, with all the quality that this will bring, and also all the possible dangers hard to avoid when you leave spaces to Mbappé and Neymar.
PSG with 4-2-3-1, with Marco Verratti number 10, the pair Gueye-Paredes in the middle, and only doubt between Diallo and Kurzawa. City ain't sure not even if it will be 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1, once again will bench each Gabriel Jesus-Aguero-Sterling, have a doubt on Stones or Laporte and play Bernardo Silva. PSG focus and determination could create the edge over City, but it will be a huge goal-fest, so even a 3-2 is possible. Aside from PSG winning, with those odds incredibly in favor of Manchester City, don't overlook the fantastic combo home double chance on PSG and over 2.5 goals.
Free Soccer Pick: PSG to win at +230 (3.3) at BetOnline