Everything You Need To Know About This Week’s Champions League Semi-Final First Legs
It’s hard to believe that we are here already but the Champions League has reached the semi-final stage.
This week sees the first legs of ties between Real Madrid and Manchester City, a repeat of last season’s final-four encounter, and a mouth-watering derby between AC Milan and Inter Milan. The stage is set for some of the best semi-final football the competition has ever seen.
Here is everything you need to know about this week’s Champions League ties.
Real Madrid v Manchester City
When: Tuesday 9 May
Where: Santiago Bernabeu
TV: BT Sport 1
Betfred match odds: Real Madrid 21/10, Manchester City 23/20, Draw 13/5
Sportsman stat: Manchester City could become the first English team to win at Real Madrid on multiple occasions in the Champions League after beating them 2-1 in February 2020.
Last year we were treated to some incredible drama as these two sides locked horns in the last four, with Real Madrid pulling off a fantastic late comeback to progress to the final, which they went on to win against Liverpool. Pep Guardiola’s team had crumbled again on their quest for European glory. While his initial team selections against Chelsea in the 2021 final were his undoing, the common consensus is that it was his naive selections against Madrid which allowed Los Blancos to rally late on.
The stars seem to have aligned for the Cityzens this year, however. It’s something that gets said every season but they’ve never before had a goalscoring master like Erling Haaland, who has 51 goals in all competitions this season. The Norwegian has tormented almost every defence he has come across and Real Madrid will be more than aware of the trouble he can cause after witnessing him dismantle Bayern Munich’s back line in the last round.
Madrid have had a disappointing season domestically as the Liga title edges closer to the hands of rivals Barcelona, but their record in Europe means they can never be written off. Many did so last year and they collected a record-extending 14th title. City cannot afford to underestimate the Spanish giants for a second time.
AC Milan v Inter Milan
When: Wednesday 10 May
Where: San Siro
TV: BT Sport 1
Betfred match odds: AC Milan 15/8, Inter Milan 8/5, Draw 21/10
Sportsman stat: Milan have only conceded one goal in their last six matches in the Champions League, and that came against Napoli last time out. Across the six games, they’ve faced 86 shots, 27 on target and have an xG against of 6.8.
For the third time in UEFA club competition, the Milan neighbours square-up against one another. AC Milan prevailed in both previous meetings – the 2002/03 semi-finals and 2004/05 quarter-finals – so the footballing world is excited for this latest chapter between two great rivals on the European stage, particularly with a place in the final at stake once again.
Italian champions in 2021/22 after an 11-year wait for the title, Stefano Pioli’s AC Milan won their first derby meeting of the campaign 3-2 in September, but have lost twice since: a 3-0 defeat in the Supercoppa Italiana in January and then a 1-0 loss in February in Serie A. Inter’s Lautaro Martínez and Edin Džeko have both netted twice against the Rossoneri this season.
*18+ | BeGambleAware