The best team in Spain will meet Germany’s finest in the Champions League semi-finals in a clash that will be headlined by Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola’s reunion with the Barcelona squad that he left in 2012 after three La Liga titles and two Champions League triumphs in four years.
As a result, the other final-four showdown pits holders Real Madrid against Italian champions Juventus, meaning that Carlo Ancelotti will also have to get the better of former employers to earn a spot in June’s final in Berlin.
While Barcelona remain favourites for the trophy having leapfrogged Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the betting following their accomplished double dismissal of Paris St-Germain, they have drifted slightly from 2.78 pre-draw to [3.05]. Bayern have also lengthened from 3.1 to [3.55].
Real Madrid are judged to have got the best deal in landing Juventus because, though the Bianconeri have contested seven prior finals, this is their first semi-final appearance since 2002/03 and Serie A hasn’t provided a finalist since 2009/10.
Ancelotti’s men are in from 4.4 to [3.4] as a result, with the Old Lady nudging inwards from 10.0 to [9.6] due to Real Madrid being rated marginally inferior to Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
A Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona is considered the most likely final at [2.32]. If it did happen, it would be the third season in a row that two clubs from the same country have collided in the showpiece. Bayern v Juventus is deemed the least plausible end game at [4.4].
Over in the Europa League, Napoli’s frontrunner status was reinforced by being paired with outsiders Dnipro, the only semi-finalists without any European silverware in their trophy cabinet.
Rafael Benitez’s side, who do face the minor inconvenience of a home first leg, are in from 2.76 to [2.56] to claim their first continental honour since the Diego Maradona-aided UEFA Cup success of 1990/91. Dnipro have faded further from 9.2 to [10.5].
The other semi-final pairs defending champions Sevilla with Fiorentina, with Unai Emery’s men [3.55] to retain to Vincenzo Montella’s squad’s [4.3] to go all the way.
Both have an impressive list of conquests, with the Spaniards seeing off Borussia Monchengladbach, Villarreal and Zenit St Petersburg as the Italians wiped out Tottenham, Roma and Dinamo Kiev.
Champions League Semi-Final Draw:
Barcelona v Bayern Munich
Juventus v Real Madrid
Champions League Winner Odds:
Barcelona [3.05]Real Madrid [3.4]Bayern Munich [3.55]Juventus [9.6]
Europa League Semi-Final Draw:
Napoli v Dnipro
Sevilla v Fiorentina
Europa League Winner Odds:
Napoli [2.56]Sevilla [3.55]Fiorentina [4.3]Dnipro [10.5]
The first legs take place on May 5, 6 and 7, with the return ties on May 12, 13 and 14