Report: Real and PSG favourites for Champions League semis

As the thrilling saga of the 2023/24 Champions League draws nearer to its climax, fans are gearing up for the heart-pounding action of the semi-finals. The lineup is set, promising epic showdowns that will leave football enthusiasts on the edge of their seats.

In the first semi-final clash, the mighty Bayern Munich will lock horns with the formidable Real Madrid. Expect sparks to fly and strategies to be tested as these giants of European football battle for supremacy.

Meanwhile, in the other semi-final spectacle, it’s a showdown between Borussia Dortmund and PSG. With stars shining bright on both sides, this encounter is sure to be a spectacle of skill, passion, and determination.

The stage is set, the teams are ready, and the anticipation is palpable. In a recent exclusive interview with Flashscore, Marek Kabat, a data analyst and consultant at StatsBomb, shared insights suggesting that Real Madrid and PSG are the top contenders for the Champions League semi-finals.

PSG

PSG aim to clinch their elusive European glory this season amidst significant changes, notably Neymar and Lionel Messi’s departure last summer. Some argue this shift was necessary, especially after consecutive last-16 exits.

In the last 16, PSG comfortably overcame Real Sociedad 4-1 on aggregate. However, the quarter-finals proved tense against Barcelona, trailing 3-2 in Spain. A Barcelona collapse aided PSG, resulting in a 4-1 victory and a 6-4 aggregate triumph, securing their spot in the semi-finals.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid, who fell to Manchester City 5-1 in last season’s semi-finals, now seek their 15th European Cup title. Despite Karim Benzema’s absence and Thibaut Courtois’ pivotal role marred by injury, they embark on an intriguing journey after their 2022 triumph.

The journey began flawlessly, securing seven consecutive victories in the group stage, culminating in a tight 1-0 win against Leipzig. Although recent matches haven’t yielded wins, Real Madrid advances to the semi-finals. Their path included a 1-1 draw with RB Leipzig in the last 16, followed by draws with Manchester City in the quarter-finals. However, they clinched victory with a 4-3 penalty triumph, thanks to Andriy Lunin’s heroics saving two spot-kicks.

Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich made a significant splash in the summer transfer window by acquiring Harry Kane, aiming to reclaim their European dominance. Despite being six-time champions, they suffered a humbling defeat in last season’s quarter-finals against Man City, losing 4-1 across two legs.

Their journey this season started strong, going unbeaten in the group stage with five wins and one draw. However, their path in the knockout stage wasn’t easy. A 1-0 loss to Lazio in the first leg of the last 16 tie put Bayern on the brink of elimination. Yet, they rallied in the second leg, winning 3-1 on aggregate, with Harry Kane’s brace playing a pivotal role.

In the quarter-finals, Bayern showcased their resilience again. Joshua Kimmich scored the decisive goal as they edged out Arsenal 3-2 on aggregate in another thrilling second-leg performance, keeping their Champions League aspirations alive.

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund defied expectations in this season’s Champions League campaign. Despite previous disappointments, including an early exit in the group stage two years ago and a loss in the previous season, they faced a daunting task in the toughest group this time. However, Dortmund rose to the challenge and topped the group, outperforming giants like Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, and Newcastle.

Their resilience earned them a last-16 draw against PSV, where a 1-1 draw in the first leg set the stage for a decisive return fixture. Dortmund’s quality shone through as they secured a convincing 3-1 victory, advancing to the quarter-finals. This marked only the second time in seven seasons that Dortmund reached this stage, with their previous appearance dating back to 2020/21.

In the quarter-finals against Atletico Madrid, Dortmund faced a deficit, trailing 2-1 on aggregate. However, a spirited performance led to a thrilling 5-4 victory, securing their spot in the Champions League semi-finals for the fourth time in their history. This remarkable journey showcased Dortmund’s resilience and determination on the European stage.

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