The pressure is on as four of Europe’s biggest clubs battle it out exclusively live on BT Sport
By Virgin TV Edit
We’ve arrived at the UEFA Champions League semi-finals and the tournament has served up two epic ties featuring a cracking quartet of teams – Real Madrid, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
You can follow all of the action live and exclusive on BT Sport, but if you can’t get near a telly then you can keep bang up to speed with all the drama as it happens on the Virgin TV Go app.
Ready for the last four of the UEFA Champions League? Before it all kicks off, get clued up on what to expect from both ties with our handy match previews…
Real Madrid v Chelsea
Tuesday 27 April, 7pm, BT Sport 2 HD (CH 528)
From an underwhelming start to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals (via a change of manager in the dugout), Chelsea’s season has had its share of OMG moments.
But the biggest could be yet to come. Under German mastermind Thomas Tuchel the Blues have knuckled down, knocked out some big opponents in Atlético Madrid and Porto, and earned themselves a shot at a second European crown. Who would have predicted that four months ago?
Where Chelsea will be looking to excel over the two legs is stifling Real Madrid’s attack with their mean defence and hitting them on the break. Having conceded a mere three goals in this season’s tournament, the Londoners’ backline is the joint-stingiest alongside Manchester City.
However, all of that is easier said than done against the 13-time champions. The very definition of European footballing royalty, Los Blancos head into the tie with their gaze fixed firmly on a fifth UEFA Champions League title in seven seasons. That’s just plain greedy, if you ask us.
Zinedine Zidane’s side are flying high in La Liga and can call on international superstars like Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Luke Modrić to help them book a spot in next month’s final. But much of the focus could be on a very familiar face to Chelsea…
Due mostly to a series of injuries, beguiling Belgian Eden Hazard has struggled to make an impact in Madrid since his megabucks move from Stamford Bridge at the start of last season. He’s been passed fit to face his former club, yet how much of an influence he has in the semi-finals remains to be seen. Whether Hazard features or not, Real Madrid versus Chelsea has all the makings of a European blockbuster.
Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester City
Wednesday 28 April, 7pm, BT Sport 2 HD (CH 528)
Every team wants to win the UEFA Champions League, but for Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City it’s a full-on obsession.
Both of these modern footballing powerhouses have thrown around wallet-bursting sums of money in an attempt to get their hands on European club football’s biggest trophy – and now it’s time for them to collide head-on.
While PSG may be blessed with top talent all over the pitch, the French champions will be looking to the twin attack of Kylian Mbappé and Neymar to fire them into the final. The dazzling duo are among the top scorers in this season’s tournament with 14 goals between them. Should they perform their dangerous double-act over both legs of the semis then City are in deep trouble.
But (there’s usually a but with PSG) when it comes to the team’s record in this season’s UEFA Champions League, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have been far from magnifique, losing three matches so far. How many games have City lost? It’s a big fat zero.
With the Carabao Cup won and the blue and white ribbons almost ready to be tied to the Premier League trophy for a fifth time, Manchester City’s quest for a momentous treble continues. But (and there’s sometimes a but with City, too) their record in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League proves that conquering Europe ain’t the same as dominating your domestic league.
This is the first time City have ever gone beyond the quarter-finals, so the pressure is well and truly on for Pep Guardiola’s men. Can they handle the white heat of what is their biggest test of the season?
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