The four remaining Champions League teams resume play in the second leg of their matchups on Tuesday and Wednesday. With elimination looming for two of the competing teams, let’s take a closer look at which teams will advance to the final match in Kiev, Ukraine on May 26.
Real Madrid CF vs FC Bayern Munich
With Real Madrid beating Bayern 2-1 in the first leg in Germany, a return to the Santiago Bernabeu in Spain would seem to favor Los Blancos’ return to a third straight Champions League Final. And being that they’re out of the running for a La Liga title, Real rested its top players in the most recent match against Leganes on Saturday in order to have them healthy and rested for play against Bayern. Die Bayern did the same on Saturday in their 4-1 thrashing of Eintracht, so Tuesday’s match figures to be exciting.
With central attacking midfielder Isco and right-back Dani Carvajal both expected to be out with injuries, their spots are expected to be filled by Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez. Bayern will be missing defender Jerome Boateng, who is expected to be replaced by Niklas Sule.
While Real Madrid clearly under-performed in Germany last week, key players for Bayern Munich failed to produce positive results for their squad. Scoring threats Robert Lewandowski and James Rodriguez didn’t provide their usual offensive prowess, as they were shut down by a tenacious Real Madrid defense.
Prediction– Look for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich to compete in an evenly-played match in front of a raucous home crowd, resulting in a 2-2 draw — allowing Real Madrid to advance to their fourth straight Champions League Final by a 4-3 aggregate score.
AS Roma vs. Liverpool
Current Form – With the second leg of the competition being played in Rome, I Giallorossi find themselves in a 5-2 deficit as a result of their loss in Liverpool last week. While Roma striker Edin Dzeko had a solid game up front, players such as midfielder Daniele De Rossi and defender Aleksandar Kolarov had sub-par performances as the team was torched for five goals. Roma mustered two goals late in the match, but they will have an uphill battle heading back home on Wednesday.
While midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been ruled out for the rest of the season (along with previously injured Adam Lallana and Emre Can), the rest of the Liverpool squad is expected to be healthy enough for roster selection. For Roma, they are expected to be without midfielders Diego Perotti and Kevin Strootman.
Although Roma will be returning to the familiar confines of Stadio Olimpico, it is hard to see them replicating their come-from-behind elimination of Barcelona FC in their quarterfinal match. Expect Liverpool to control the pace of the game from the onset, exposing the lack of speed of the back line of Roma. But the Giallorossi have a three-goal deficit entering this second leg and may find themselves vulnerable to the counter-attack as they move players up in attack to try to cut into the deficit.
Prediction– Roma clearly have no answers for the speed of Mane and Salah, and this match will expose the defense of the Serie A squad. Look for Liverpool to win the match 3-1 with an aggregate margin of 8-3 and advance to the Champions League Final.