Champions League by Konstantinos Pagiavlas is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Real Madrid V Bayern Munich

It was no great shock to see Real Madrid return to Spain with the away win, regardless of league form, Real are a completely different animal when it comes to the business end of the Champions League. As much as the first leg wasn’t a prolific performance by the standards of their Turin performance, nor was it the Ronaldo show, in the context of the game it would have been fair to say that Bayern were the better team overall but simply did not take their chances.

It would be extremely difficult to see past Real reaching a third successive final, Bayern may have rested players over the weekend, but are currently in the midst of an injury crisis. Having lost both Boateng and Robben in the first leg, it remains to be seen whether they will return tonight, but they have joined the likes of Neuer, Vidal, Coman, Alaba, on the treatment table, and the signs look ominous for the boys from Bavaria.

If Bayern can get out the traps quickly and give Real a scare in the same way Juventus did, then they have a chance, but needing two goals they cannot afford to be as wasteful as they were in the first leg.

Real rested a majority of first team players over the weekend, and will hope Bayern come onto them so they can take advantage on the breakaway, much like the first leg.

Roma V Liverpool

This tie was all but over with 10 minutes remaining, but a late Roma flurry has given them a minuscule chance of recovery. If we remember the last round, a late Roma goal gave them a slim chance against Barcelona, which they took and ran out 3-0 winners at home securing their place on the away goals rule.

It seems highly unlikely that Liverpool will fail to score at least one goal in this tie, but Roma have yet to concede in this competition at home, and much like Anfield the Stadio Olimpico can be a cauldron of atmosphere which players can either flourish or wilt beneath.

Roma will give absolutely everything to try and get through to the final, but they need to learn lessons from the first leg, or they will find themselves on the end of another mauling. They cannot afford to play their defensive line as high as they did at Anfield, if they are determined to do so all Liverpool have to do is set Salah and Mane on the half way line and play balls over the top, and they will outpace Roma’s defence time and time again, as they did in the first leg.

In a similar way to Real Madrid, the result of this match will be determined by the desperation of the team chasing the tie. If Roma become desperate, and lose concentration then they will be punished on the counter, and the tie will be over. But if they can score early and take control of the ball then have an small chance.

Verdict

I cannot see anything other than a Real Madrid V Liverpool final. Liverpool may not have great depth, but their front three will continue to cause Roma problems if they let them get a run at them, and Real Madrid simply know how to win from here. However, we have seen shocks in this competition so far, and to anything is done is dusted would be hugely presumptuous.

Comments

comments