The Champions League final in Milan which will take place on the 28th of May is getting closer and closer. We’re now left with the best four teams of the continent this year, battling for the two spots in the final.
Odds in this stage of the competition are often misleading, due to the immense quality of the teams – and even with the risk of sounding very cliché, anyone can beat anyone at this stage.
It’s time to analyze the second semi-final we have on our hands this year, which features another episode of the Spanish-German football war.
We’ll start with the so-called “outsiders” of the tie, Spanish team Atletico Madrid. The team was just a high-midtable performer for so many years, but after the final they played against Real Madrid in 2014 and the title they won the same year, nobody considers them long shots any more.
After a penalty victory against PSV in the round of 16, they managed the biggest surprise of this year’s competition, eliminating trophy holders Barcelona in the quarter finals after a 1-2 loss at Camp Nou and a 2-0 win on Vicente Calderon.
This win brought large hopes for the team, which also managed some great results in the domestic league this year, still competing for the title with Barcelona and Real.
Antoine Griezmann is the star forward of a team which coach Simeone crafted to be just like him: athletic, tireless, hard-working and ambitious. They will surely be a tough nut for anyone to crack.
On the other hand, German powerhouse Bayern Munich need no introduction. They are set to star in their 5th consecutive Champions League semi-final. Guardiola has already agreed to a move to Manchester City after this season, so this is his last chance to win the trophy with the German team, which he failed to do on the last occasions.
Bayern sit top of the Bundesliga with a comfortable 7 point lead over Dortmund, are also in the final of the German cup, and are looking to feature in their 11th Champions League final. The team hardly lacks quality – the likes of Lewandowski, Muller, Ribery, Douglas Costa or youngster Kingsley Coman are sure to bring quality up front, while Vidal, Neuer and the others can provide excellent defense.
So far this season they’ve managed a double turnaround versus last year’s finalists Juventus in the round of 16, coming back from 2-0 in Italy to draw 2-2 and from 2-0 in Germany, to win 4-2 during extra time. That game perfectly shows the mental and physical strength of the German team, who had no real issues with Benfica in the quarter finals.
From a online betting perspective, it’s very hard to pick the winner of this double leg. Atletico has shown they can deal with any opposition in a good day. But we can see definite trends in their games so far: Atletico doesn’t seem to score very much, having very few games with more than 2, 5 goals, while Bayern seem to score in most of their encounters.
Moreover, Atletico seem very dependent on Griezmann, so he’s the most likely to score a goal for the Spanish side. Also, if we look at the trend so far, the German team seem to score in every second half they played this season, with very few exceptions. Combine these odds and you may have a good chance to win.
To sum up, this semi-final seems a lot more balanced than the one between Real Madrid and Manchester City. We will eagerly be watching the games to see who will book a spot for San Siro – Diego Simeone with his fierce warrior side or Pep Guardiola, at his last chance to bring Bayern a Champions League Trophy?