With the French and German champions both involved, the Champions League semi-finals are sure to provide huge drama and plenty of excitement as goals go flying in.
Underdogs RB Leipzig and Lyon will be full of hope they can repeat their heroics from the previous round when they eliminated Atletico Madrid and Manchester City respectively.
Will Bayern Munich reach their 11th European Cup final? Could Paris St. Germain finally reach a final and equal the efforts of other French teams like Reims, Marseille, Monaco and Saint-Etienne?
Over the next 48 hours, we’ll find out.
RB Leipzig vs. Paris St. Germain
An intriguing tie takes place on Tuesday night as two of Europe’s surprise packages this season clash in a bid to reach their first Champions League final. For Paris St. Germain, it would end an agonizing wait to reach the biggest club game on the planet after years of waiting behind several other teams who have done in France, and in the case of Marseille and Reims, have done it twice.
With Neymar firing on all cylinders and Kylian Mbappe restored to the line-up, PSG (8/11) will be confident of making it through to the final, but RB Leipzig (3/1) will be no pushovers. Despite losing Timo Werner to Chelsea, the team who were only formed 11 years ago still managed to shock Atletico Madrid, a far more consistent performer than PSG in Europe’s top competition in recent years. If you’re looking for an outside goalscorer bet, then Dayot Upamecano is 18/1 to score at any time for the Germans and should be looked at, but while goalscoring is very much his party piece, Mbappe’s pace often means he assists vital goals, just as he did late on in Paris St. Germain’s stunning quarter-final victory over plucky Atalanta.
Our tip: Kylian Mbappe to assist at least 1 goal (2/1)
Bayern Munich vs. Lyon
The German champions have been in ruthless form since the turn of the year, winning the Bundesliga for an eighth consecutive time at a canter. But what has been the transformation under their manager Hans Flick? Let’s take a look.
Bayern Munich (2/9) are a very short price indeed to make light work of Lyon (11/1 in most places), but are there any signs of an imminent shock such as the one carried out by Lyon against Manchester City in the last round?
It’s hard to see, to be honest. While both Juventus and Manchester City are fine teams, Lyon were almost set up to beat them and with a fully fit Moussa Dembele and Memphis Depay, they’re likely to get some joy against a Munich backline which has conceded in seven of their last eight games.
It’s just that Lyon surely cannot keep out the German favourites to win the entire competition. With no injuries and players such as Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller in amazing form, take the Bavarians to outscore their French opponents and look out for the opportunity to back Bayern to win if they go one or two goals down. They have it in them to blow Lyon away, even from a losing position.
Our tip: Bayern Munich to win 3-2 (22/1) or 4-2 (30/1) with investment split equally.
With two potentially classic Champions League ties to be played over the next two days, all eyes will be on Portugual for the final this coming Sunday. We’ll have a preview for that game in our report on the semi-final action on Wednesday evening right here on Calvin Ayre.