Champions League 2014: Semi-Final Predictions Following Fixtures Reveal

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2014

NYON, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 11:  Ambassador for the final Luis Figo draws Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League 2013/14 season semi-finals draw at the UEFA headquarters, The House of European Football, on April 11, 2014 in Nyon, Switzerland.  (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for UEFA)
Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Following Friday's announcement from Nyon, Switzerland, we are now aware of who will be matching up in the semi-final of this season's Champions League.

Pep Guardiola will once again return to the Santiago Bernabeu after the ex-Barcelona boss saw Bayern Munich drawn opposite Real Madrid. Meanwhile, the Spanish capital's other bastions, Atletico Madrid, will come up against English hopefuls Chelsea.

With less than a fortnight until the two-legged matchups take centre stage, read on for a prediction of how each fixture will play out in the hope that we might determine the setup of this term's final.

2013-14 Champions League Semi-Final Predictions
Fixture1st-Leg Prediction2nd-Leg PredictionAggregate Prediction
Real Madrid vs. Bayern2-2 Draw3-1 Bayern Munich5-3 Bayern Munich
Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea2-0 Atletico Madrid1-1 Draw3-1 Atletico Madrid
UEFA.com

 

Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich

MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 09:  Thomas Mueller of Bayern Muenchen celebrates scoring his team's second goal with team mates during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Manchester United at Allianz Arena on A
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Between them, Real Madrid (nine) and Bayern Munich (five) hold a magnificent 14 European Cup and Champions League titles, signifying just what kind of weight these two throw around on the continental scale.

As quoted by the club's official Twitter account, Real manager Carlo Ancelotti is fully aware of the threat reigning champions Bayern pose, but he is confident in his team's ability:

In a way, Der FCB and Los Merengues are outfits of completely different proportions right now.

Whereas Real are a team who rely largely on individual talents and boast the competition's leading goalscorer in Cristiano Ronaldo (14), Bayern are a deep and well-stocked squad whose top scorer this Champions League season, Thomas Mueller, is merely joint-seventh in the rankings.

As OptaJose points out, Bayern hold a historical advantage over their upcoming opponents:

For all of the attacking might these two sides display, it will be the defences that tell this tale.

Bayern have the potential to travel to Madrid and limit their hosts, but it's highly unlikely that Ancelotti's back line will be able to do the same in Bavaria.

Prediction: Real Madrid 3-5 Bayern Munich (agg.)—Bayern Munich advance

 

Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea

Another return to Spanish surroundings comes for Jose Mourinho, who, just nine months after leaving Real Madrid's helm, will once again take on their bitter rivals Atletico in the penultimate challenge of this season's Champions League.

The Blues' second-leg comeback against Paris Saint-Germain at the quarter-final stage was heroic, but Los Rojiblancos have a very prevalent achievement of their own to be proud of in defeating Barcelona over the two legs.

One massive factor in this fixture will be Atleti's use, or lack thereof, of Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois, who are at this point uncertainties for the clash due to injury and questions regarding loan availability, respectively.

BeIN Sport's Tancredi Palmeri quotes Chelsea CEO Ron Gourlay as confirming that Courtois is available to appear against his parent club, however, adding what he thinks the chance of Atleti advancing is without star striker Costa:

Packed with quality, both sides are difficult to set apart, but again, it's the defensive side of things which will prove most telling here, with Atletico having conceded just 22 goals in league competition this term.

Prediction: Atletico Madrid 3-1 Chelsea (agg.)—Atletico Madrid advance