Wake up football fans! The Semi-Finals of the UEFA Champions League are here.
Can you believe that exactly a week ago, we were all hung up on the possibilities of football being over? Florentino Perez and the 12 bad wolves had the world in a frenzy but that didn’t go far and we fans won our game back.
As a token of that victory, we get to see Champions League action resume and what better way than the semi-finals. We are entering the first round of champions league semi-finals and these teams are in a collision course to get to the most desired trophy in international club competitions. Let’s dive into some predictions and thoughts right away!
First Up! Chelsea vs. Real Madrid Round 1
First and foremost, what an exciting match this is about to be. In one hand, you have Zinedine Zidane and company giving the battle of their lives going for major glory in this tournament. At one point, I truly thought Real Madrid was out and over from this competition. I truly didn’t think that the Madrid team would survive a brutal and powerful Liverpool but they proved everyone wrong.
In addition to a great campaign by Madrid, the club has a major weapon returning from injury giving them that extra pep in their step. Does the name Eden Hazard ring a bell, Chelsea fans? Perhaps, this quote said when he was transferred will?
Eden Hazard after leaving Chelsea for Real Madrid:
"I hope that we are drawn against each other in the Champions League every season so we can meet again." 💙
Today his wish comes true 🙏 pic.twitter.com/p2lmeLMIrm
— Goal (@goal) April 27, 2021
The stars have aligned and now we are t-minus 2 hours away from this major match. For Chelsea, while the influence of Hazard should be expected when facing Real Madrid, you cannot let that intimidate you. As our good friend, Brent Buckley mentioned in his article yesterday, Chelsea can beat the lights out of Real Madrid! Chelsea needs to keep the defensive work happening but also maintain Pulisic, Ziyech and Mount in the midfield creating chances for a rejuvenated Timo Werner!
My prediction for this match is that while Real Madrid will come out firing, Chelsea’s youth and strength will show out today. I’m rolling with a 2-1 victory for Chelsea here and a huge punch in the teeth to Florentino Perez’ side.
Battle Royale – PSG Vs. Manchester City Round 1
These two incredible teams should really be in the final. What these two teams have going on right now is just incredible talent but even stronger coaching.
For starters, Manchester City are coming into this game Wednesday night fully motivated after winning the Carabao Cup against a strong Tottenham team. Pep Guardiola has truly managed to make this team world-class to a full new level, the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and others are truly having their best years ever. I also can’t fail to mention the strength defensively that Guardiola’s army has, which is also just out of this world good.
Meanwhile, PSG is also not that far behind and a sensational team to watch this year. After a slow fall down from the Tuchel era at Parc De Prince, it seems that a youthful and motivated Mauricio Pochettino has managed to re-ignite that confidence for this team. We’ve seen just how impressive Kylian Mbappe has been! Never mind, how impressive Neymar looks after his return from injury.
Truthfully, the match will come down to what goalie will perform better. Will it be Keylor Navas for PSG or will it be Ederson Moraes for Manchester City?
My score prediction is a tie at 2 as these teams will then go into round 2 where penalties may need to break things up between these two mega-forces.
Honestly, as a diehard soccer fan! If these semi-finals aren’t the best ones we’ve had in a while, I am not sure what to think would be better.
We are entering a new era where for the first time it won’t be Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Messi, it will be mega-force vs. mega-force team wise and that is quiet the treat. I am truthfully excited for these semi-finals and whoever wins it this year can make the case they are the best team in the world right now. The world of soccer is in great hands with these athletes and certainly, it doesn’t come down to money. After all as Bruno Fernandes quoted last week “Talent isn’t bought”.
Lastly, if you haven’t checked out episode 34 of the Yellow Card Podcast please do! It is available on YouTube and Spotify and there are some juicy predictions on there that you shouldn’t miss.
~Diego Galvis (@Diego_TheDJ on Twitter).
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