We will have new champions of Europe this season as Chelsea were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Real Madrid in an enthralling encounter that required extra time in order to be decided over an initial 180 minutes of quality football.
Joining Real Madrid in the semifinals of the UCL this season will be Spanish counterparts Villarreal – the current UEFA Europa League champions – and English duo Manchester City and Liverpool.
Indeed, there will be a lot of excitement on offer at this stage of the competition, and whilst many may look to complement it with the best online poker sites, it is going to be extremely hard to take your eyes off of the action that takes place on the pitch across the four games that are going to be played.
What does the UCL Semifinals schedule look like?
As we already know the four teams to be competing in the UEFA Champions League semifinal stage, we also know how the schedule will look:
- Man City vs Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday 26 April.
- Liverpool vs Villarreal at Anfield on Wednesday 27 April.
- Villarreal vs Liverpool at El Madrigal on Tuesday 3 May.
- Real Madrid vs Man City at Santago Bernabeu on Wednesday 4 May.
Each tie will follow the same rules and format as the previous rounds in the competition, as the old away goals rule no longer applies. Of course, this situation could be great for neutral fans as they could be able to witness some exciting action, however it will certainly be tense for those who support the teams that may find themselves requiring the additional 30 minutes or even a penalty shootout to book their place in the Final.
What can we expect to see happen?
Perhaps a cliche, however it would be wise to expect the unexpected when it comes down to this particular stage of the competition, as we have seen a number of surprises take place in previous editions of the competition.
On paper, many will feel that Liverpool should beat Villarreal and book their place in the Final – which will be played in Paris, France – given the star talent that they have available to them and the way that they have been performing in England. The Reds kept their chances of winning an unprecedented quadruple alive last weekend after defeating Man City in the FA Cup semifinal.
Nonetheless, we know Villarreal are the current UEFA Europa League champions and managed to shock FC Bayern Munich in the previous round, therefore they are worth taking seriously straight away.
Man City have already managed to beat one team from Madrid as they defeated Atletico Madrid to reach this stage of the competition, although Real will be a different prospect for Pep Guardiola’s side. Los Blancos, as we mentioned, defeated Chelsea and will be looking to continue in their quest to dominate Europe and extend their record of winning the competition more times than any other club on the continent.