UEFA Champions League 2nd Leg: Preview and Prediction 

2023/24 UEFA Champions League Semi-final: 2nd Leg Preview and Predictions

May 3, 2024

Following two chaotic nights of Champions League semi-final action in Germany, we are still no closer to finding the finalists for this season’s finale at Wembley Stadium. 

European behemoths Bayern Munich and Real Madrid played out an entertaining 2-all draw at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, which was followed by a similarly entertaining yet low-scoring affair at Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday where underdogs Borussia Dortmund eked out a narrow 1-0 victory against French champions Paris Saint-Germain. 

With the second-leg action taking place in less than a week’s time, the teams and their technical staff will have their work cut out given all four sides have league action to contend with during the weekend. 

Preview and Prediction

In the return leg, it will be PSG hosting Die Schwarzgelben at the Parc des Princes this Tuesday followed by Bayern Munich making the trip to the Santiago Bernebéu on Wednesday in a one-off game for a place in the Champions League final. 

Paris Saint-Germain vs Borussia Dortmund 

On any other day, Luis Enrique and his men could have scored two, three, or even four on the night to kill off the tie. But the reality is that, missed chances aside, they didn’t give a true account of themselves in the hostile environment of Signal Iduna Park. 

Ousmane Dembélé, who was one of the catalysts in their quarter-final win against Barcelona, had a game to forget, while Kylian Mbappé and Vitinha both came close in the second half after hitting the post twice in the space of just five seconds. Moreover, unlike most games, Mbappé failed to get himself involved, mostly playing on the fringes and waiting for something to happen rather than taking the game by the scruff of the neck. 

Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, were a class apart. Despite falling significantly short in terms of individual quality, they are a side performing above the sum of their collective parts at this moment in time. Despite having a better backline and midfield than Dortmund, the Parisians struggled to cope with Dortmund’s high intensity on the transition. 

In the return fixture, during their group stage clash, Paris Saint-Germain played Borussia Dortmund out of the park, but that was almost six months to this day. If Edin Terzi? and his men can show the courage to play on the front foot like they’ve done before, there’s every chance the Black and Yellow Army can make it to their first Champions League final in 11 years. 

Predicted Score: Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 Borussia Dortmund | PSG win 3-2 (AET) 

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich 

This is the only competition, and Real Madrid are the only club, where heritage matters. Over the last decade or so, the UCL has been Los Bloncos‘ competition. Even if they aren’t the best team, they just won’t die unless you drive a sword through their heart.

Bayern Munich began the first leg on top and were the better side, only for Real Madrid to score with their first chance and first shot on goal — an exquisite Toni Kroos pass splitting the Bayern backline in half to find Vinícius. When the game was slipping away from them in the closing stages, their other Brazilian forward Rodrygo came alive and drew a foul out of Kim Min-jae that allowed Vinícius to convert from 12 yards out. 

Although Thomas Tuchel’s side were able to nullify Jude Bellingham, leading to him getting subbed off in the 75th minute, the Bavarians learned the hard way that Real Madrid aren’t all about the 20-year-old after all. Thus, they go into the second leg at a slight disadvantage. The fact that the aggregate scores are level effectively makes it a one-off game for a place in the final, and that too to be played at the 14-time champion’s den. 

While Don Carlo opted to go with a midfield trio of Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde, and Aurélien Tchouaméni in Munich, we could see both Luka Modri? and Eduardo Camavinga returning to the playing XI this Wednesday in order to have more control in the middle of the pitch. Bayern on their part also have the firepower both out wide and centrally to cause Real Madrid problems. 

If there’s one thing the German side have in their corner, it’s the fact that in his nine previous meetings with Real Madrid, Tuchel has won three, drawn five, and lost just one game in his managerial career. However, his counterpart has an even better record against Bayern, having won six and drawn three, yet to lose against them in the Champions League. 

Predicted Score: Real Madrid 2-2 Bayern Munich | Real Madrid win (AP) 

Note: “AET” is an acronym for After Extra Time 
           “AP” is an acronym for
After Penalties 

Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

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