First legs

Tuesday, May 5: Juventus vs. Real Madrid 7:45 PM

Wednesday, May 6: Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich 7:45 PM

Second legs

Tuesday, May 12: Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona 7:45 PM

Wednesday, May 13: Real Madrid vs. Juventus 7:45 PM

Everyone had their own idea of what would make a dream final for this year’s Champions League, but those neutrals hoping for a Barcelona v Bayern Munich final had their hopes dashed at the draw in Nyon on Friday morning.

The two standout teams from the quarter-finals were paired together in a match that will see Luis Enrique go head-to-head with old acquaintance Pep Guardiola in the first of two mouth-watering semi-final matches. Barca barely broke a sweat as they disposed of French pretenders Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals, while Bayern responded to a surprise first-leg defeat in Porto with a crushing 6-1 display back on home soil.

The match will come under immense scrutiny as the world watches to see how the Bayern coach sets about dismantling the team that he led to so much silverware between 2008 and 2012. During most of that spell in charge, Enrique was in charge of the Barca B-team and the two former teammates enjoyed a good working relationship.

The last time the sides met in the competition back in 2012-13, things did not pan out well for Barcelona as they slumped to a 7-0 aggregate defeat to the eventual champions under the guidance of Tito Vilanova. A much closer game can be expected this time round.

Reigning champions Real Madrid are the second Spanish team left in the competition, and they will have to find a way past current tournament outsiders and Italian champions Juventus in order to bag an 11th title. Both teams squeezed through the quarter-finals by a just a single goal with Real knocking out city rivals Atletico, and Juve holding on to eliminate Monaco.

The sides last clashed in the 2012-13 group stages of the tournament when the Spanish team won 2-1 at home and the teams drew 2-2 in Turin. The teams have not met in the knockout stages since the 2003 semi-finals when the Italians prevailed.

Each semi-final should produce a different style of match with the Italian coaches going head to head in one game and the Barcelona students battling it out in the other – but who will prevail?

Carlo Ancelotti knows a thing or two about Italian football and that knowledge combined with the players at his disposal should be enough to edge past Massimiliano Allegri’s well-drilled Juve side.

The other game is much tougher to call. Barca will be favourites and have not missed a beat so far in this tournament, having brushed aside the Dutch, English and French champions already. However, Bayern are a forced to be reckoned with and have the slight advantage of playing at home in the second leg, and are led by a Coach that has been there, done it and bought the t-shirt.

Champions League final prediction:

Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid

To be played June 6 – Olympiastadion, Berlin

Place your Champions League bets with Bet365 today.

Leave a Reply