The 2019-20 UEFA Champions League semifinals take place August 18-19th at 3pm EST on CBS All Access.
Last week, our panel predicted the quarterfinals. How’d it go?
Chops only hit 1 of 4 but doesn’t care at all even in the slightest since Manchester City got knocked out. Tyler Everett hit 2 of 4. Uttiyo Sarkhar hit 1 of 4. And Alex Blowers almost went perfect–but his bordering on maniacal love of City kept him at 3 of 4.
How will it go this week? Let’s find out.
2019-20 Champions League semifinal predictions
RB Leipzig vs PSG
Chops: Can we focus on how I’m the only one who NAILED the City-Lyon game? Honestly the other ones don’t even matter so long as City lost.
As for this match, Leipzig certainly impressed me. They did what Liverpool (or Adrian) could not, which was overcome Diego Simeone’s annoying, garbage brand of soccer that makes late ’90’s NHL games look compelling. For keeping all of us from having to watch Atleti grab and claw and drop 7 on the backline while Simeone pulls what’s left of the hair on his head out, I want to pick RBL.
But I just can’t get there.
PSG have at least 3 of the best 11 on the pitch if not more. French City advance.
Tyler: You were all over that. How could any of us have possibly foreseen a slip-up by Man City? Wait, the question should probably be, “How the hell could any of us have not seen that coming?”
Also, from one genius who went 1-for-4 with his quarterfinal predictions to another, well-done! Seriously, though, bravo for picking Lyon at nearly plus-1,000 odds.
As for this one, I like PSG, though they were lucky to squeak past Atalanta. A few reasons I’m high on the Parisians: 1) Based on how he looked during the minutes he played last week, I expect Kylian Mbappe to start, and wreak havoc. 2) PSG also had an unbelievably long layoff to come back from ahead of the quarters, and now that they’re back in rhythm, they should perform much better than they did vs. Atalanta. 3) While Neymar and Mbappe are this team’s biggest stars, Angel di Maria is another weapon, and they’ll get a big boost from this return after he missed the quarterfinal win due to a suspension.
Uttiyo: Yep that was quite the insane prediction on the Lyon game. That was just aesthetically pleasing to watch.
As for this semi-final, expect it to be a slobber knocker. It’s the classic teacher vs student battle (Tuchel gave Nagelsmann his first big break in management) so expect both teams going all out for this one.
I THINK that PSG have gotten rid of that tendency to bottle on the worst possible moments. Leipzig are still lacking that goal-scoring teeth of Werner and he can be really missed in the SF I believe. Neymar-Mbappe-Di Maria-Icardi is too good for even the incredible Upamecano & co to keep quiet. Expecting PSG to edge out a win in this one.
Alex: I’m still in shock at Pep’s team selection & tactics. We all know he loves to play a tactical wildcard to prove he’s the smartest man in the room. I was expecting that to come in the semifinals against stronger opposition. I hold him personally responsible for costing me a clean sweep & busting my +1500 Parlay after PSG, Leipzig & Bayern came through.
I know PSG are the heavy favorites here & rightly so. Their dramatic injury time comeback against Atalanta will galvanize this team & give them belief.
Mbappé & Di María returning to the starting lineup will give them more creativity, pace & dynamism from the off. Keylor Navas is a big loss for their backline.
I still think they’ll buckle under the pressure & come up short. RB Leipzig are the opposite & look completely fearless. Their high energy, counter pressing & fluidity in attack will cause PSG problems like Atalanta did before they tired. When you have a player of Marcel Sabitzer’s quality you’ve always got a chance.
Leipzig progress to set up an all German final.
Lyon vs Bayern Munich
Chops: First, let’s cut the crap on Lyon being this year’s Ajax. Nobody cares. Second, how bad was that quarterfinal match for Barcelona? When exiled Philippe Coutinho puts the final two nails in your coffin, well, that’s as bad as it gets.
I don’t feel like this really deserves much analysis. Bayern look like the best team in the world right now. Lyon are like the 7th best team in the “MLS of Europe.” Bayern win by like 12 goals.
Tyler: I’d like Bayern against just about anyone right now. And despite their heroics vs. Man City, I think Lyon is clearly the worst of the four teams left. (I’ll admit to saying similar things about the Ligue 1 side in the round of 16 and the quarters, and we saw how that worked out, but I’m still not convinced).
Lyon will put up a fight — and I’d consider backing them to pull another upset if they were playing RBL or PSG — but Bayern will be too much. This won’t get out of hand, but Bayern will get at least three goals. Expect a 3-1 or 4-2 final score as the Bavarians reach the final.
Uttiyo: Lyon have had the kind of fairytale this season that Ajax had last season. Unfortunately, fairytales can only last for so long. Bayern are a machine right now. They’re almost like The Terminator obsessed on taking down its target.
Lyon might be able to put up a better fight than Barca did, but will succumb to Lewandowski & co’s sheer power. Going for a comfortable Bayern win for this one.
Alex: There’s no way Hansi Flick makes the same mistake as Guardiola. He’ll pick the same starting eleven & instruct Die Roten to play the exact same way they have been since he took over, putting the emphasis on Lyon to stop them.
I agree Lyon will offer more resistance than Barcelona but they might as well pack their bags, settle the hotel bill & charter the plane home now. Bayern look unstoppable at the moment & this competition is theirs to lose. They’ll comfortably see this one out 3-0 or 4-0.
Where to bet the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League in the US
In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey, Indiana and Pennsylvania.