Source: Imago Images
Source: Imago Images

Four very different dreams

Football OlyBet 29.04.2024

The last four remain in the Champions League. Are they the strongest teams in the world? Probably not, to be honest. But each has a case to win it all and when they do, they will be on top of the world.

Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, and Borussia Dortmund. One from Spain, one from France, two from Germany. “Good harvesting this week, my fellow farmers,” Dortmund defender Mats Hummels tweeted (or, umm… X-d?), a jab at the mostly-English perspective of Germany – and France, too – being “Farmers Leagues”.

For the first time since the 2014-15 season, there will be no English clubs in the semi-finals of the Champions League or the Europa League. This also means one of the Champions League bonus spots for 2024-25 will likely go to the Bundesliga, with Opta giving them a 98.8% chance to snatch it; the other is already set to go to Serie A.

Did we call it? “This is what makes Bayern Munich and PSG so dangerous at this point – the latter has the Ligue 1 pretty much wrapped up while Bayern are unlikely to catch Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. Both can concentrate solely on the Champions League,” we wrote before the quarter-finals while also pointing out the difficult position of Manchester City.

To be fair, it could have gone differently. The quarter-finals did not disappoint. Bayern both trailed and led in London only to draw and clinch the spot at home. Dortmund lost away to Atletico and was going out with 30 minutes to go. Real survived the onslaught from City for much of the second game and won on penalties. PSG lost at home and allowed Barcelona to score first at home too.

The de facto strongest team in the world might be either City, Liverpool, or Leverkusen (why not?) at the moment, but de jure, it will be the Champions League winner. Real have the pedigree and the know-how. PSG are fighting to keep Kylian Mbappe. Bayern have Thomas Tuchel trying to prove a point. Dortmund are the underdogs.

According to Opta, Real are now both favourites to progress to the final (64%) and to win it all (38%). PSG are also heavily favoured (61% and 28%), with Bayern given a 19% and Dortmund a 15% chance to lift the trophy on June 1st. But can we really count the farmers out?

All games listed below will be held at 22:00 Eastern European Summer Time (GMT+3).

Bayern Munich – Real Madrid

30.04 @ Allianz Arena, Munich
08.05 @ Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

This one is an instant classic – it has been called the European Clasico! Bayern and Real have met 26 times in the history of the Champions League/European Cup, and 24 of those games have been played in the knockout stages. This will be their eighth meeting in the semi-finals, but they have somehow managed to never meet in a final. The last time they met was back in 2017-18.

It has not been smooth sailing for Bayern “recently” as they are winless in their last seven vs Real, losing six of those meetings (the last game ended in a draw). Alarmingly, Real has won on their three last visits to Munich, but Bayern has lost just once in their last 24 Champions League home games. Real meanwhile has not lost a single Champions League game this season.

Player to watch: Real Madrid know all about winning trophies, but Harry Kane is still looking for his first meaningful one at 30 years of age. The striker left Tottenham to join Bayern last summer, but the Champions League is now his last shot to end the long wait. For his part, Kane has ten goal involvements in ten games (seven goals, three assists).

Borussia Dortmund – Paris Saint-Germain

01.05 @ Westfalenstadion, Dortmund
07.05 @ Parc des Princes, Paris

Both teams did well to reach the semi-finals, with no one expecting Dortmund to be here and PSG in the middle of a rebuild. They have already met this season, so should know each other inside out: in the group stages, PSG won 2-0 on matchday one, but needed a 1-1 draw to qualify second behind Dortmund come matchday six.

The order of the games could be important as PSG have not won at the Westfalenstadion in three attempts (1L 2D), but Dortmund in contrast have won just one of their six meetings in total (1D 2L in Paris). Dortmund seems to enjoy the advantage, as their home form has carried them so far (1:1 vs PSV away; 1:2 vs Atletico away).

Both will be playing in their fourth Champions League semi-final. Dortmund has reached the final twice (in 1996-97 and 2012-13), winning it all in 1997 while PSG has only played in one final (2019-20), which they lost to Bayern.

Player to watch: He might not be a household name yet, but the 24-year-old Portuguese midfielder Vitinha is pulling all the strings for PSG. He has completed 96% of his passes under pressure in the knockout stages, the highest percentage of all midfield players. In addition, he has made the most line-breaking passes for PSG. He scored himself in both games vs Barcelona too, his first goals in the Champions League.


This piece of content has been lovingly crafted by the hard-working sports people of OlyBet. Hope you like it!