UEFA Champions League: Semi-Finals (2nd Leg)


Our football writer previews the second leg semi-final Champions League ties between Juventus and Monaco and Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

A grand UEFA Champions League finale in Cardiff is just around the corner with Real Madrid and Juventus in pole position to face off in what would be a massive clash. It’s not written in stone just yet with Atletico Madrid and Monaco set to give their respective opponents a run for their money. Let’s find out what the second legs have in store for us!

Juventus v Monaco | Tuesday 9 May | Juventus Stadium | 20:45

To Win (90 Mins)
Juventus 13/20 | Draw 28/10 | Monaco 4/1

The Old Lady took one step closer to a second Champions League final in the space of three seasons after Argentine hitman Gonzalo Higuain netted a brace to see off Monaco 2-0 in the semi-final first leg.

Man of the Match was undoubtedly Dani Alves, who had more touches than any other Juventus player on the pitch (72), not to mention two phenomenal assists. Paolo Dybala was his usual energetic, dynamic, hardworking self and was a great factor in the build up to both of Juve’s goals.

Let’s not forget about the unbreakable defence that keep Juventus intact. The combination of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Alex Sandro kept things tidy and organised at the back, while Gianluigi Buffon was as solid as usual, earning a sixth consecutive clean sheet in the Champions League – a new found record for the Old Lady. Juve must remain calm, composed and determined in the second leg and with two goals in the bag, it’s highly unlikely they will slip up now.

It’s do or die for Monaco, who have no choice but to attack the game from the get go after Juventus left the Stade Louis II with a 2-0 aggregate scoreline. The French giants started the game with pace and purpose, with Kylian Mbappe heading straight Gianluigi Buffon before forcing another low save a few minutes later.

Monaco - who have been firing on all cylinders this season – showed moments of menace and danger, especially on the counter but the Ligue 1 table toppers will need to be much better if they are to score a goal, let alone turn this tie on its head.

Verdict: Juventus Win (13/20)
Monaco will be desperate to start the game with a bang but it could play into the hands of Juventus, who have players capable counter-attacking with pace and power. The French giants have conceded 18 goals in the Champions League this season compared to Juve’s mere two. That stat says enough for me – get on the home win at 13/20.

Madrid derby | Wednesday 10 May | Vicente Calderon Stadium | 20:45

To Win (90 Mins)
Atletico Madrid 16/10 | Draw 49/20 | Monaco 31/20

Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid must do the impossible in their second leg Champions League tie with cross-town rivals Real Madrid. Los Colchoneros crumbled in the first leg, going down 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu and as a result need to produce one of the all-time greatest comebacks in the history of the Champions League.

By all means, Atleti do have the players to do so but it’s highly unlikely we will get two see another team come from 3 goals down – in the first leg – to win the overall tie in one Champions League campaign.

Los Colchoneros only managed one shot at goal against Real Madrid and need to do much more than that if they are to score at least three goals. Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro, Fernando Torres and Yannick Carrasco will be tasked at getting Atletico back in the game.

Real Madrid
It was the Cristiano Ronaldo show once again as the Portuguese household name demonstrated his goalscoring prowess yet again with a second consecutive Champions League hat-trick, having netted five goals against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals.

No team in the history of the UEFA Champions League has managed to win the competition twice on the bounce, but Real Madrid are in a great position to do so. Los Blancos also earned their first clean sheet in the tournament with that victory over their rivals.

Verdict: Draw (49/20)
As much as Atletico need to attack, I just feel that they will also defend with integrity at the Vicente Calderon. A tight affair is on the cards and the teams are tipped to share the spoils.

Double Tipped @ 46/10
Juventus Win 13/20
Atletico Madrid Win 49/20

Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets

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