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Champions League semi-final predictions: Bayern Munich and PSG bidding to set up 2019/20 repeat

With reigning holders Manchester City out of the way, Wembley Stadium will crown a new Champions League winner on June 1.

Record-time European champions Real Madrid dented Pep Guardiola’s ambition to become the first manager in Premier League history to win back-to-back trebles in the quarter-finals.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side came out on top of a pulsating penalty shoot-out to exact revenge on the perennial English champions and progress into the semi-finals for the fourth season on the bounce.

Man City’s fellow Premier League title rivals Arsenal suffered the same fate as Joshua Kimmich’s header propelled Bayern Munich to the last four as 2-1 aggregate winners.

Coming within touching distance of continental glory softened the blow of surrendering an 11-year dominance in the Bundesliga after Xavi Alonso’s invincible Bayer Leverkusen side won their first-ever top-flight title. 

Bayern’s foes, Borussia Dortmund, defied the odds to overcome Los Blancos’ cross-city rivals, Atletico Madrid, fighting back from a 2-1 first-leg deficit to advance into the semi-finals as a 5-4 aggregate winners.

Another Spanish side slumped in the quarter-finals as Barcelona spurned a first-leg lead against Paris Saint-Germain, going down 4-1 at home in a repeat of the famous 2016 ‘Remontada.’ 

PSG will play Dortmund in the semi-finals, while Madrid and Bayern lock horns in a mouth-watering knockout tie for the first time since the Spaniards’ famous 4-3 aggregate triumph in 2018.

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich

Aptly named Reyes de Europa (Kings of Europe) in their homeland, Los Merengues are potentially three games away from clinching a record-extending 15th Champions League crown.

In a season underscored by Ancelotti’s thirst for revenge, Madrid repaid Man City the favour for last season’s embarrassing semi-final elimination while arriving on the cusp of dethroning Barcelona in La Liga.

No matter who stands in their way, it feels like no task is too tall for the most successful club in European football, even in this transitional period, highlighted by Jude Bellingham’s affirmation in top-tier football. 

The last time Madrid faced Bayern in the Champions League, they had Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema to lead the team’s charge for glory.

Dani Carvajal, Dani Ceballos, Luka Modric and Toni Kross are the only remaining players to have featured for Madrid in that tie, with this new-look Ancelotti side looking to write their names down in history books.

However, the current squad is familiar with the feeling of continental supremacy, having won the Champions League title in 2021/22, courtesy of Vinicius Junior’s winning strike against Liverpool. 

With the most prestigious European title the only chance for Bayern to avoid a first trophyless campaign in over a decade, the Germans will be heavily motivated to knock the Spaniards out.

Manager Thomas Tuchel knows in-depth about climbing to the podium as he led Chelsea to the title in 2020/21, but he could be out of his depth in this showdown.

Prediction: Real Madrid to reach the final.

Borussia Dortmund vs Paris Saint-Germain 

Dortmund and PSG shared the stage in this season’s ‘group of death,’ leaving AC Milan and Newcastle United in their wake before dumping out three Spanish sides in the knockouts.

Before pulling off a comeback against Atletico, Edin Terzic’s lads squeaked past PSV Eindhoven, while Les Parisiens proved too strong for Barcelona and Real Sociedad.

The runaway Ligue 1 leaders heavily fancied to book their tickets for Wembley for a good reason, having lost just one of their six European encounters against the Signal Iduna Park tenants (W2, D3). 

Years of substantial investments have yet to pay off, but this could be Paris’ best chance to seize continental supremacy before waving goodbye to talismanic forward Kylian Mbappe. 

If Bayern can defy expectations and beat Madrid in their semi-final tie, we could witness a repeat of the 2019/20 final, where the Bavarians edged PSG out 1-0.

While the Germans’ progression looks unlikely, PSG should hold up their end of the bargain.

Prediction: Paris Saint-Germain to reach the final.

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