The UEFA Champions League season is down to its last four. Despite the distractions of the European Super League proposition in between, the prestigious tournament is poised for an exciting conclusion.
In less than a year, Thomas Tuchel is set to take charge of his second semi-final, albeit with two different clubs. Chelsea travels to Spain to take on Real Madrid for the first leg this Tuesday. The Spanish giants are in the last four of this competition for the first time since 2018 when they last lifted the trophy.
The football world will yet witness one of the wealthiest and glamorous semi-final clashes when PSG take on Manchester City.
This set of ties promises goals, excitement and drama.
Real Madrid vs Chelsea (Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano)
Zinedine Zidane will have his eyes on a fourth Champions League final as coach of Real Madrid. However, he must first cross the Chelsea hurdle.
The Spanish giants have stumbled considerably on the domestic front with two draws in the last two matches. This has seen them drop down the pecking order in the race for a second consecutive La Liga title.
The French manager will be banking on his team’s defensive solidity which has helped it go on a 17-match unbeaten run. In the absence of the captain, Sergio Ramos, Eder Militao has stepped up to be counted.
The pace and trickery of Vinicius will prove a handful for Chelsea’s 31-year-old defender, Cesar Azpilicueta on the break.
Eden Hazard has been cleared fit to play in this match. The Belgian forward will have something to prove against his former employers.
On the other hand, the Blues are yet to lose on away grounds under Tuchel. They suffered a scare against Porto in the second leg of the final eight. However, their first leg result was enough to secure passage to this round with a 2-1 aggregate win.
The Londoners are in good stead to qualify for next season’s Champions League. They defeated fellow challengers, West Ham at the weekend.
The 2012 champions will look to retain control of possession in midfield while trying to find the spaces. They will be without midfielder, Mateo Kovacic due to injury.
The German tactician will hope that Timo Werner can regain his confidence in front of the goal after ending his drought at the weekend.
Prediction: Real Madrid 1-0 Chelsea
PSG vs Manchester City (Parc des Princes)
PSG will be eager to reach a second consecutive final and go a step further by clinching its first Champions League title.
Les Parisiens qualified for the semi-finals having defeated last season’s Champions, Bayern Munich on away goals.
The French club is in a four-horse race alongside Lille, Monaco and Lyon for the Ligue 1 title.
Mauricio Pochettino is currently sweating on the fitness of star forward, Kylian Mbappe who limped off against Metz. However, Marquinhos is available for selection after returning from injury.
The strategy for the hosts will be the same as against Bayern Munich. They will hope to exploit the high line of the Manchester City defence with quicker transitions. Neymar will be keen to take his chances against the English side.
Pep Guardiola will have his sights set on the final since his days at Barcelona. The soon-to-be Premier League champions cruised past Borussia Dortmund 4-2 on aggregate in the quarterfinals.
The Manchester side will be brimming with confidence after clinching a fourth League Cup title on the trot with a win against Tottenham.
Guardiola’s men will look to control possession as usual while making as many dynamic movements in attack.
20-year-old Phil Foden will have plenty to say in the outcome of this tie.
Prediction: PSG 2-3 Manchester City