Champions League Semi Finals - Predictions and Tips - August 18-19 2020

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by Brad King
| 16/08/2020
Lyon vs Bayern Munich

 

The Champions League reaches a pivotal stage this week, as the two sides that will compete in the final of the competition will be decided. There were some shock results in the competition's quarterfinals, but could there be any more surprises in one of the most entertaining sports competitions in world football? Read through our soccer predictions to find out how the games could play out.

RB Leipzig vs Paris Saint-Germain

The first semi-final of the competition will see Paris Saint-Germain look to reach their first-ever Champions League final. RB Leipzig will also be hoping to achieve that first feat, as this is the furthest that they have ever got in this competition in their history. It will be the first-ever time that these two sides have met in a competitive fixture, and the stakes couldn't be higher.

PSG have already enjoyed success against German opposition in this season's competition, as they knocked out Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16. That success means that the French side have kept up their record of beating all the German sides that they have come up against in the competition. However, while they were able to get past that test with flying colours, it was a much closer affair in their last round fixture against Atalanta. The Ligue 1 champions were made to produce a stunning turnaround in the final stages of that fixture as they trailed for over an hour. Mario Pasalic gave the Serie A side the lead in that fixture before Marquinhos kept the PSG hopes alive by equalising in the final minute of normal time. It appeared as though the game was destined for extra time before Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting won the game in the 93rd minute after an excellent cross from Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe's introduction turned the game on its head, as the World Cup winner injected some much-needed quality into the final third. He will likely be fit enough to start the semi-final against Leipzig. Marco Verratti and Layvin Kurzawa will still be missing for the French side for the semi-final.

There is a huge challenge in store for Leipzig, as they will be coming up against a PSG side that have scored in every Champions League fixture that they have played in since 2016. However, Leipzig have made a habit out of upsetting the odds in this competition this season, and that was on full display in their fixture against Atletico Madrid last time out. Leipzig were outsiders to win that fixture as they were into the game without top scorer Timo Werner, who signed for Chelsea at the beginning of the transfer window. The Bundesliga outfit were excellent throughout against Atletico and took a deserved lead through Dani Olmo. However, Atletico levelled through Joao Felix, and it seemed likely at that point that the Spanish side would go on and win the fixture. Leipzig picked their game back up and booked their spot in the semi-finals with a late winner from Tyler Adams.

This will be another huge challenge for Leipzig, but confidence in the camp will be high. However, there is a sense of destiny about PSG reaching their first Champions League final this season, which means the preference would be for Mbappe and Neymar to fire PSG to the final.

Lyon vs Bayern Munich

There will be two French sides and two German teams in the semi-finals this season, as Lyon and Bayern Munich booked their place in the semi-finals with incredible performances in their respective quarterfinal ties. This is the ninth time that these two sides will square off, with Bayern having won four of the previous eight. Lyon and Bayern also met in this stage of the competition in 2009-10, with Bayern winning the tie 4-0 after the two legs.

Only Real Madrid have reached the semi-final stage of the competition on more occasions than Bayern, while they have been impressive this season as they have won nine straight games in the Champions League. The dominant form that Bayern have been in since the restart was evident in their stunning win against Barcelona last time out. The German champions were superb as they handed out Barcelona's biggest ever Champions League defeat in the quarterfinal, as they ran out 8-2 winners. Thomas Muller scored a first-half brace, while Ivan Perisic and Serge Gnabry also added goals to give Bayern a 4-0 half-time advantage. Joshua Kimmich, Robert Lewandowski, and two for Philippe Coutinho compounded the Barcelona misery in what was one of the most stunning nights in Champions League history.

Lyon were equally as impressive in their quarterfinal victory, as they knocked out Manchester City. Pep Guardiola's side were considered huge favourites to win the fixture, but they were handed an early blow as Maxwell Cornet deliciously curled the ball past Ederson after 25 minutes. City equalised through Kevin De Bruyne before second-half substitute restored Lyon's lead with a controversial goal from Moussa Dembele. There was an element of offside in the second goal, while the striker also tripped Aymeric Laporte before running through on goal. The minute that ultimately decided the game came in the closing stages as Raheem Sterling missed an open goal before Dembele scored Lyon's third less than a minute later.

That success over City was an impressive performance from Lyon, but this challenge against Bayern will be much bigger. Bayern haven't lost this calendar year, and that looks set to continue as they claim a big win to book their spot in Sunday's final.

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