Champions League
Back
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Man City v Real to go to the wire, Atleti can beat Bayern in Champions League semis

Holly Thackeray | May 2, 2016

It’s crunch time in the Champions League, as two marvelous midweek semi-final second leg fixtures will determine which teams make it to the grand finale in Milan at the end of May.

All remains finely balanced, as Atletico Madrid battle with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday having taken a 1-0 advantage, while it is all even between Manchester City and Real Madrid as the Citizens make a daunting trip to the Bernabeu…

Will Man City make their first ever Champions League final, potentially against future manager Pep Guardiola? Or will it be an all-Madrid affair? See our thoughts on the tense tussles and best betting opportunities below.

Bayern Munich v Atletico Madrid

  • Champions League
  • Tuesday, May 3rd
  • Kick-off: 19:45 BST
  • Allianz Arena, Munich
  • Live on BT Sport Europe

Can Atleti hold firm at Allianz?

Top level football doesn’t get much more evenly poised than this, as one of the sternest defences in Europe takes on one of the most formidable attacking forces.

Diego Simeone marches his side to Munich with a 1-0 advantage from the Vicente Calderon, meaning Pep Guardiola’s guys need to go for the jugular – which should play straight into astute underdogs Atletico’s hands.

Atletico Madrid v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - First Leg - Estadio Vicente Calderon

Atleti are outsiders at 5/1 for an away win in 90 minutes, though are wobblier on the road, with their last two defeats arriving on enemy territory.

Yet, the Spanish capital club are odds-on at 8/11 to qualify for the final for a second time in three terms, and with good reason. Having held off the opposition to keep clean sheets on the way to victories in all of their last six games in all competitions, Atleti are 4/1 for another shut-out, or better value at 8/1 for another win to nil.

If punters lean the Atletico way, they can also get great prices of 27/20 for a double chance result of an Atleti triumph or draw in normal time at the Allianz, or 11/1 for Simeone’s side to be drawing at half-time and victorious at the final whistle.

Simeone to call Saul

Still, with all the focus on the La Liga team’s defence, there is also plenty to recommend up top. Sought-after midfielder Saul Niguez delighted fans with a superb solo strike in the first leg, and is 11/2 to follow that up with another goal anytime in Germany.

While, forward Fernando Torres is 8/1 to put away the final chance on Tuesday night, with in-form Antoine Griezmann 7/1 for the opener after his weekend winner versus Rayo Vallecano. The Madrid men must learn from Juventus’ mistakes and take any early chances.

Atletico Madrid v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - First Leg - Estadio Vicente Calderon

As for Bayern, few will have the Bundesliga big-guns counted out, and there is every chance they could prove value at 11/10 to be one of the final two.

Despite a draw at the weekend, Guardiola’s charges are odds-on 8/13 favourites on the night, and certainly have the attacking power to stun Atleti, even if backline enforcer Diego Godin is fit to return.

Getting through the resistant Hispanic rearguard will be no easy task, but Bayern boast some one the world’s best in Robert Lewandowski (5/1 for a brace or better) and Thomas Muller (5/4 anytime), who did not start in the reverse but made his point by bagging an equaliser least time out.

Real Madrid v Manchester City

  • Champions League
  • Wednesday, May 4th
  • Kick-off: 19:45 BST
  • The Bernabeu, Madrid
  • Live on BT Sport Europe

Will City rue Real escape?

As first-time Champions League semi-finalists Manchester City’s holding of La Decima achievers Real Madrid to a stalemate at the Etihad was painted as a masterstroke.

City had stopped Real from grabbing an away goal, which makes the Mancunians 7/4 to reach the final, and 11/2 to be triumphant in 90 mins at the Bernabeu.

Manchester City v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League - Semi-Final - First Leg - Etihad Stadium

But this return to Madrid will be like no match the Citizens have experienced before. Catching PSG out in Paris or blunting Los Blancos away is one thing but – as Wolsfburg realised – facing a battle with Real at home is another prospect entirely.

City could, of course, grab that crucial away goal themselves, but after a horror defensive show at the weekend versus Sadio Mane and Southampton, they don’t look like keeping Zinedine Zidane’s side (1/2 to win in normal time) at bay.

Bale the main man at Bernabeu

In a boost to the Sky Blues, most dangerous duo Cristiano Ronaldo (3/1 for the final say if fit) and Karim Benzema are still doubts, but having seen Mane breach City on Sunday, Gareth Bale will be licking his lips.

Speed machine Bale bagged a vital winner to keep Real in the title race last time out, with three goals in as many of his last matches making the Welshman 4/1 to be first on target or 5/1 to dispatch a double or more.

Spain Soccer La Liga

Zidane is not short of supporting options in attack either, with Lucas Vazquez (2/1 anytime) and James Rodriguez (7/4) also in the running.

As for Man City, they have plenty of firepower of their own to wield after Sergio Aguero (11/2 to notch first) and Kevin De Bruyne (2/1 for a goal anytime) were rested with Kelechi Iheanacho (10/3) again at the double. So, this scuffle could go all the way to the wire but it is Real that seems most likely for glory at 11/5 to win in 90 mins and both teams to score.

Related

There’s much more Champions League content to enjoy on our dedicated page.

Coral’s top tip: Real Madrid at 11/5 to win in 90 mins and both teams score.