Following Friday’s draw for the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, here is an analysis of the two ties and a prediction on who will make it through to the final in Kiev on May 26.
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid
This is the fourth time in the past seven tournaments that the sides have met in the semi-final stages.
Bayern prevailed in 2012 in a penalty shoot-out, but in both 2014 and last year it was Real who prevailed and they look well poised to make it a hat-trick this time around.
Cristiano Ronaldo was the hero 12 months ago, netting five times over the two legs in the 6-3 aggregate win, and after his heroics against Juventus in the quarter-finals he will be the man to carry the hopes of Zinedine Zidane’s side.
Bayern are the last side to have won the European Cup three years in a row, a feat achieved between 1974 and 1976.
Real are on course to match that, having won the past tournaments, and it would be fitting if they conquered the last side to achieve the feat on their way to making it three on the trot.
Ronaldo is in terrific form and could well be the difference maker. Bayern have won the Bundesliga at a canter, but they were not convincing in defeating Sevilla in their quarter-final tie.
Given Real’s quality, and the fact they have found their form at the right time, it is hard not to see Real reaching a fourth final in five years.
Prediction: Real Madrid
Liverpool v AS Roma
Mohamed Salah has been one of the best signings of the season as he has galvanised Liverpool’s offensive line-up and his goals helped upset Manchester City in the quarter-finals.
He now faces Roma, the club he joined Liverpool from in the summer, and it will be an interesting test for the Egyptian as he goes up against opponents who will be more than familiar with his skills.
Roma will not be overawed by the prospect of Liverpool, given their sensational comeback to defeat Barcelona in the quarter-finals.
This is a rematch of the 1984 European Cup final where Liverpool won the fourth of their five titles in the competition, triumphing after a penalty shoot-out. Rome was also the scene of Liverpool’s first European Cup win in 1977 when they beat Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 in the final.
All attention will be on Salah this time around but Liverpool are more than one player, and in Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane they have the quality to progress to their first final since 2007.
Roma should not be underestimated, they are unbeaten at home in Europe all without conceding. They came out of the group stages, beating Atletico Madrid to second place. On their way to the semi finals, they have beaten Chelsea, Shaktar and of course Barcelona.