UEFA Champions League Semifinal Preview: First Leg

UEFA Champions League Semifinal Preview: First Leg

  • Posted by Geoff Reid
  • On April 27, 2011
  • Geoff Reid, UCL 2010/11

By Geoff Reid

Real Madrid vs Barcelona from the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

The time is finally here to see the best rivalry in all of sport anywhere in the world, and the third meeting between these two rivals in a matter of weeks. This is what we live for watching matches like these, and if not even any neutrals can get up for this one, then it’s impossible. With Real Madrid winning the Spanish Copa Del Rey last week, both managers understand that it was really just a preview of their two legged clash in the Champions League. With Barcelona pretty much having wrapped up La Liga, this is Madrid’s real chance to get one over their rivals, and it would be the perfect revenge after the Catalans destroyed the galacticos 5-0 in the Camp Nou earlier in the season during league play.

The hosts seem to be hitting form at just the right time which is something that Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is fearful of, and with a 6-3 away victory against Valencia over the weekend, he has every right to be. Of course Mourinho will be saying the same to his troops after their first encounter of the season. What we do know is this two legged tie is what both clubs want to win more then anything.

The injury worries for Real have Sami Khedira missing out, and of course long term absentee Fernando Gago. However, Lassana Diarra will return to provide defensive cover, while Emanuel Adebayor, and Angel Di Maria have shaken off knocks. The big blow for Barcelona is Andres Iniesta has a calf injury, but may return for the second leg. Maxwell is also missing out of the squad, but the good news is captain Carles Puyol has returned to full training after hamstring issues and will captain the side today.

Prediction: Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona