Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Barca vs Madrid Final?

If Real Madrid defeat Apoel Nicosia in tonight's Champions League quarterfinal clash in the Bernabeu, there is a strong likelihood we could see Jose Mourinho's men tee up against bitter rivals Barcelona for an epic final in May.

Barcelona's 3-1 win against Seria A leaders, AC Milan, at the Nou Camp last night has raised the odds that the Spanish giants will be making it to their third Champions League final in four years. Of course, Barca will have to defeat the winner of tonight's quarterfinal clash between Chelsea and Benfica before making hotel reservations in Munich for May 19.

Still, there is an air of inevitability with Pep Guardiola's side. You just know they're going to go all the way.

As for Real Madrid, the jury really is out on just which one of these Spanish sides is the best in Europe. The Special One's side has been in spectacular form this season and should be favourites for the final as well.

However, unlike Barca, Madrid will have a tougher team reaching the finals as they - in the likely event they defeat Apoel Nicosia - will be up against Bayern Munich, whose home ground will be the venue for this year's Champions League final.

The Germans have been a force in this season's Champions League and certainly won't be easy to dispatch. Furthermore, the prospects of being the home side in the final will only fuel Jupp Heynckes' side to go the extra mile in the semifinals.

Interestingly enough, both Barcelona and Munich share some similarities going into their respective semifinals. Both clubs are currently in second place in their domestic leagues. Munich is three points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund while Barca trail Mourinho's side by six points.

In addition, both sides have won four Champions Leagues prior to this campaign. If either one makes it to the final and wins, they will become the only other side to have won five Champions Leagues (the other being Liverpool).

Nonetheless, a final between Barcelona and Real Madrid will be one for the ages. While Guardiola's Barcelona will undoubtedly be the favourite in the final (only because they've won it twice in the last three years), the Special One has seen his fair share of success in Europe's most prestigious competition.

After all, if I'm not mistaken, he's the only manager to have won it with two different clubs and he just might get a chance to break his own record. All the same, he's never really had much luck against Barcelona and tempers tend to flare in these matches. Still, it would make for an exciting final.

No comments:

Post a Comment