It’s down to the business end of things in the Champions League and after this week’s Quarter-Final second legs where played, we take a look at the 4 Semi-Finalists and look at each team to see who is most likely to win this season’s prestigious award.
The Spanish giants are the current holders of the Champions League and are the record winners (11 titles). They so far haven’t come up against any real competition except for Bayern Munich in the Quarter-finals. After some very debatable decisions going against Bayern Munich, Madrid cruised through to the last 4 with an aggregate score of 6-3. While they still may be the favourites to retain the European title for the first time, they could come up against tough defences such as their Madrid rivals or Juventus, which could prevent their attacking football reaching the Finals.
Champions: (11 times)
This season’s top scorer: Cristiano Ronaldo (7 goals)
Goals scored: (28)
Goals conceded: (15)
Star Man: Cristiano Ronaldo
Key Stat: Real Madrid have scored from 6 headers in this season’s Champions League. More than any other Semi-Final team left in the competition.
The other Madrid side also made it to their third Semi-Final in four years, 2 of those times reaching the Final but losing out to Real Madrid and look very strong. Yes, they weren’t completely convincing against Leicester but they stuck to their tactics and where able to comfortable win in the end thanks to a mix of attacking talent and solid defending. Finishing top of Group D this season, over Bayern Munich, shows Atletico’s strength in Europe again and that they are serious contenders. If Atletico do reach their third Champions League final in four years, they must learn from the 2 previous mistakes. Even if it’s Real in the final. Again.
Champions: (Never; Runners-up – 3 times)
This season’s top scorer: Antoine Griezmann (5 goals)
Goals scored: (13)
Goals conceded: (5)
Star Man: Antoine Griezmann
Key Stat: Atletico have committed the least number of fouls in this season’s Champions League compared to the other 3 Semi-Finalists (84).
Juventus have made the Semi-Finals after last season’s disappointing Round of 16 exit to Bayern Munich. The year before that (2014/15) they lost in the final to Barcelona so it was the perfect revenge when the Italians knocked out Barca on Wednesday night to reach the last 4. Hoping to win their first European cup since the 1995/96 season, their mixture of tough defending and lethal finishing, might prove the key ingredients to win this season’s competition.
Champions: (2 times)
This season’s top scorer: Paulo Dybala (4 goals)
Goals scored: (17)
Goals conceded: (2)
Star Man: Giorgio Chiellini
Key Stat: Juventus have conceded the least number of goals in the whole competition and are yet to taste defeat in this season’s competition (P10 W7 D3 L0)
Probably seen as the ‘underdogs’ in the competition, Monaco have got unusually far in the competition. Not only have they gone further than their rivals PSG but they have knocked out big sides already such as Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund. Their attacking football is some of the best seen in a long time. Yes, their defence isn’t the best but they just outscore their opposition and never seem to run out of energy. They may be outsiders but don’t write the French side off just yet. They could shock the football world.
Champions: (Never; Runners-up – 2003/04)
This season’s top scorer: Kylian Mdappe & Radamel Falcao (5 goals)
Goals scored: (21)
Goals conceded: (16)
Star Man: Kylian Mdappe
Key Stat: Monaco currently have the most booking than any other club left in the competition (25 Yellow, 0 Red).
Verdict: Real Madrid will have the know-how and experience to retain their title. They will beat Atletico in the Semi-Final before beating Juventus in Final.
All images sourced from Google Images
All Statistics sourced from UEFA Champions League
Verdict is writers’ opinion/prediction and isn’t affiliated with any real life situation.