Champions League Preview: Real Clash With Juve, Barca Face Bayern

Champions League Preview: Real Clash With Juve, Barca Face Bayern

Tuesday and Wednesday’s first leg UEFA Champions League semi-finals will see the four remaining European clubs clashing to decide the final pair who will face off in Berlin to determine the champions of Europe.

The semi-final draw set the stage for this week’s encounters, with Real Madrid taking on Juventus on Tuesday, before Barcelona and Bayern Munich go head to head on Wednesday.

Madrid Battle Juve

Italian champions for a fourth consecutive time, Juventus take on Spanish giants Real Madrid in Tuesday’s semi-final action at the Juventus Stadium in Turin.

With Carlos Tevez in excellent form, and a strong defence to count on, the Bianconeri will feel confident that they can perform well in front of their home fans, and take a lead to Madrid for the second leg. Juve are unbeaten at home in European competition this season, producing an expectation from the home fans in regard to their heroes.

Cristiano Ronaldo and company will have something to say about that, however, and will be looking to suppress the Italians so that they can complete their progression to the final in Berlin with a victory at the Bernabeu.

The Serie A side will be without star midfielder Paul Pogba, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, while Gareth Bale returns to the squad for the Spanish.  Kwadwo Asamoah, Martin Caceres and Luca Marrone are also unavailable for Juve, while Karim Benzema may be able to return to the fold for Real Madrid.

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Barca Set To Host Bayern

Lionel Messi and Barcelona will welcome German champions Bayern Munich on Wednesday, with the Germans aiming to practice damage limitation against the incredibly fast and skilful attacking line that the Spanish have at their disposal.

If they are able to defend well against Barca, FC Hollywood will have the confidence and motivation of a home second leg with their fans pushing them on to a final that will be played in Berlin.

But the attacking trio of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, backed up by the talents of Andres Iniesta and Ivan Raketic, mean that Barcelona will be a very difficult team to negotiate if they come out firing at the Nou Camp, and could prove too much for a German side that has struggled away at times this season.

The Bavarians will be missing a number of players through injury, with the likes of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, David Alaba, Holger Badstuber and Robert Lewandowski all out, though the Polish international has an outside chance of returning in time to a spot on the bench.