The 2014 UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st leg matches will be played on April 23rd and April 24th 2014. In the opening match Bayern Munich will host Barcelona and in the 2nd semi-final match Borussia Dortmund will host Real Madrid.
Barcelona and Real Madrid will look to set-up an El Clasico Champions League Final this year, but the two German sides won’t make it easy for the Spanish squads. Let’s take a look at the odds for each team to qualify into the Champions League Finals.
Odds to Qualify Into the 2014 Champions League Finals
- Barcelona: 1.74 (Betfair) vs. Bayern Munich: 2.25 (Bet365)
- Real Madrid: 1.44 (Paddy Power) vs. Borussia Dortmund: 3.00 (Bet365)
Bayern Munich v Barcelona Betting Preview
These two teams don’t have much of a H2H record to go off of. In 2009 Barcelona won 5-1 on aggregate against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Since that terrible performance Bayern has been hoping to get a shot at revenge against Barcelona.
Bayern has locked up the Bundesliga and Barcelona has locked up La Liga already. Both teams are focusing solely on the CL and I expect this semi-final to be a lot closer than it was in 2008-09. Bayern comes into this semi-final in better form than Barcelona.
Barcelona is 5-3-2 in the Champions League this year and they barely made it out of the quarter-finals against PSG. They had two draws against PSG, but advanced on away goals. Bayern Munich is 7-1-2 with their lone loss coming against Arsenal (2-0).
Bayern ranks #2 in the Champions League in goals scored this year with an average of 2.2 GPG while Barcelona ranks #5 with an average of 1.8 GPG. Defensively Bayern has conceded 1 GPG and Barcelona has conceded 1.1 GPG in the Champions League.
I’m betting Bayern to advance, but it comes down to the 1st leg at home. Barcelona has struggled in away matches, as they lost to Milan (2-0) and had a draw against PSG (2-2) in the knockout phase. Bayern needs to be up 1-0/2-0 after the 1st leg.
Lionel Messi is tied for 2nd in scoring with 8 goals this year and has been the only scoring threat on Barcelona. Jordi Alba is the only other player who has scored more than a goal. Bayern needs to smother Messi anytime he touches the football.
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid Betting Preview
Dortmund is the only team that has yet to lose a match, but at the same time they were all but eliminated before two stoppage time goals against Malaga to advance to the semi-finals. Dortmund has to regroup and now get ready to play Real Madrid.
Real Madrid is 5-3-2 in the Champions League with losses against Galatasaray and Dortmund. These two teams were both in the same group (D) during group stage. Dortmund won the 1st match 2-1 and the 2nd match ended up a 2-2 draw.
Both teams have scored plenty of goals. Real Madrid is ranked #1 in goals scored with an average of 2.3 GPG and Dortmund isn’t that far behind with an average of 1.9 GPG (4th). Dortmund has conceded only 0.9 GPG while Madrid has conceded 1.4 GPG.
Cristiano Ronaldo leads the league with 11 goals in 10 games and he has been unstoppable. Karim Benzema has scored 4 goals in 8 matches as well for Real Madrid. Dortmund has been great defensively on the pitch, but I don’t think they’ll shutdown Madrid.
When looking at the two matches these teams played in the group stage you can see that Real Madrid outplayed Dortmund, but they were unable to convert as effectively as Dortmund. They held a possession advantage and an edge in scoring attempts.