Champions League Semi Finals – 1st Leg Preview and Expected Lineups

And then there were four. Europe’s elite club competition (No, not the Super League) has reached its final stages, with only five matches remaining before determining the club that will be crowned as the new king of the old continent after the dethrone of Bayern Munich in the previous round. Here is our preview for the first legs of the Champions League semi finals, in addition to the expected lineups.

Note: All expected lineups mentioned below originate from

Real Madrid – Chelsea

Not for the first time, Real Madrid are hitting their stride when it matters the most. After a shaky start to their domestic and European campaigns, Los Blancos have confidently secured their spot within the last four after seeing off Liverpool 3-1 on aggregate.

On the other hand, Chelsea have booked their spot in the Champions League semi finals after shrugging Porto aside, but now find themselves as the underdogs of the competition.

Zinedine Zidane will deploy his preferred 4-3-3 formation, with Karim Benzema supported by Marco Asensio and Vinicius in attack. However, Los Merengues’ key component remains their golden midfield trio – Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric.

For his part, Thomas Tuchel should maintain his 3-4-3 lineup, spearheaded by Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in attack. Italian international Jorginho will play alongside N’Golo Kanté in the double pivot, with Reece James and Ben Chilwell as wingbacks.

The Spaniards are considered to be the favorites to progress due their impressive squad that is filled with world class talent in all various positions. However the Blues have already knocked out their neighbors Atletico Madrid in the round of 16, and will be looking to replicate their unexpected triumphant path from 2012.

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Militão, Nacho; Casemiro, Kroos, Modrić; Vinícius Jr, Benzema, Asensio
Out: Mendy (calf), Ramos (calf), Valverde (illness), Vázquez (knee)

Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Rüdiger; James, Jorginho, Kanté, Chilwell; Mount, Havertz, Werner
Out: Kovačić (thigh)

PSG – Manchester City 

It’s France vs England. Qatar vs UAE. Mbappé vs De Bruyne. Pochettino vs Guardiola. Money vs More Money.

Although none of the two clubs won the competition before, both sides have been considered as favorites to go all the way since the earlier stages.

Paris Saint Germain have already added the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona and the defending champions Bayern Munich to their list of victims, as they will be gunning for another glamorous victim.

On the other hand, the Cityzens have been comfortably cruising their way through the competition, but now they’ll be facing their first real stern test in tournament.

Mauricio Pochettino will unleash a terrifying attacking force led by Kylian Mbappé, and supported but the exceptional trio of Angel Di Maria, Marco Verratti and Neymar. Idrissa Gueye and Leandro Paredes will hold the middle of the park, and Alessandro Florenzi should start at right-back.

In the opposing corner, Pep Guardiola should also opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Bernardo Silva deployed as a false nine. Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are expected to play behind him, with Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan as the two central midfielders. Kyle Walker and Cancelo will start in the fullback roles.

The Ligue 1 champions need to put on a strong show at Parc des Princes before travelling to England next week, whilst the Premier League club will be hoping to score one or more away goals that could prove to be decisive in the return fixture.

Paris: Navas; Florenzi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Diallo; Gueye, Paredes; Di María, Verratti, Neymar; Mbappé
Out: Bernat (knee)
Doubtful: Marquinhos (adductor)

Man. City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Rúben Dias, Cancelo; Rodri, Gündoğan; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Foden; Bernardo Silva
Out: none

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