Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Dortmund, and Paris all have the opportunity to finish the season in style as they prepare to compete in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Bayern hosts the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final with the determination to end a long period of drought against Real Madrid, while Dortmund hopes that its recent experience will enable it to measure up against Paris Saint-Germain.

The Champions League Schedule:

Mardi 30 Avril

champions league
champions league

Bayern Munich lost its title of German champion to an excellent Bayer Leverkusen team, but Thomas Tuchel, who will leave his position as coach this summer, still faces a significant challenge. As they prepare to face Real Madrid for a remarkable eighth Champions League/European Cup semi-final, the Bavarians have yet to secure a victory in their last seven encounters with the Spaniards (1 draw, 6 losses, all in knockout stages).

The performance in the second leg against Arsenal in the quarter-finals was praised by Tuchel and demonstrated how much the Bayern crowd can support the team on big occasions. “It’s always better to play in front of your fans,” Tuchel said after the match. “With every tackle and every good move, you get the support from the crowd, and it lifts you and gives you a second wind. Now, it’s the semi-final and everyone has to step up – we have to fight, and the fans have to do the same.

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Mbappé against Dortmund’s Yellow Wall in the Champions League

Kylian Mbappé, the leading scorer in the Champions League with eight goals, scored a brace in the 4-1 away victory in the quarter-final second leg against Barcelona, bringing his total to 15 goals scored away from home in knockout stages (only Cristiano Ronaldo, with 23, has done better). However, BVB is undefeated in their last ten home matches in this competition (6 wins, 4 draws: a club record), and facing their massive ‘Yellow Wall’ terrace, they will strive to secure a favorable result to face the return leg in France with confidence.

These two teams are familiar with each other as they faced off twice in the group stage, with Dortmund losing 2-0 to Paris at the Parc des Princes before drawing 1-1 at home. ‘Our first match against them wasn’t good,’ acknowledged coach Edin Terzić. ‘In the second match, we adapted better to them and were closer to victory. I believe we are a better team today than we were against them in the group stage.’ The third time might be the charm.

The trophy in English hands?

The defending champions, Manchester City, as well as Arsenal, both suffered defeats in the quarter-finals, meaning that no English club will be able to participate in the final at Wembley Stadium in London. However, many English players still hope to make their mark under the arch on June 1st, notably the captain of the England national team (and record goalscorer with 62 goals), Harry Kane. ‘There wouldn’t be a better place for me personally to win this trophy,’ said the Bayern striker, who has something to prove in his prolific first season with his new club.

In the semi-finals, he will face a fellow Three Lions teammate, who is also having a stunning debut campaign in a new country: Jude Bellingham, a player for Real Madrid. ‘I’m very happy for him, but it’ll be a different story against his team,’ Kane said. ‘Of course, I’ll greet him, but once we’re on the pitch, the serious business will begin.’ Bellingham, on the other hand, may have other former colleagues to greet if his team reaches the final and faces his former club, Dortmund, which boasts two other English talents: forwards Jadon Sancho and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens.

After the semi-finals

If Bayern qualifies, they will have the opportunity to recreate a previous final, albeit in a different context: they defeated Paris 1-0 in Lisbon during the 2020 Champions League final and prevailed over Dortmund in the all-German final of 2013, also at Wembley.

Real Madrid hopes to win the Champions League/European Cup for the 15th time this year (their current record of 14 titles is twice as many as their closest pursuer, Milan), with only one defeat for Real at Wembley: 3-1 against Tottenham Hotspur in the 2017/18 group stage.

Paris is the only team in the semi-finals that has never won the Champions League, but Parisians might believe in their chances of winning it by leveraging home advantage when they host Dortmund in the return leg. Parisians have yet to concede a goal in three home matches against BVB (2 wins, 1 draw).

The 2023/24 Champions League Final will take place at Wembley Stadium in London on June 1, 2024.

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For more information, visit this website. UEFA

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