The prolific UEFA Champions League is about to embrace on the semi-final stages for this year’s competition, with the first legs taking place next Tuesday and Wednesday night in Europe.
Next Tuesday, the 20th of April, the San Siro will see Inter Milan at home to Barcelona in the first semi final clash for 2010.
The prolific UEFA Champions League is about to embrace on the semi-final stages for this year’s competition.
Kicking off at 8.45pm local time, the match will begin in Australia at 4.45am on Wednesday morning (AEST) and will no doubt be a highly passionate affair between two European powerhouses.
Inter have been practically perfect at home in the competition, providing the perfect challenge to Barca who have not been beaten away from home for two years.
The Spaniards travel to Italy still claiming the title of UEFA Champions League title winners, and are looking to add this year’s title to their list which would make them the first side to win consecutive titles for 20 years.
Inter will look to overcome the Spanish giants to reach their first Champions League final since 1972 – however could be a big ask having never scored a goal against Barca.
The two first met in the group stages of the competition last September, when they finished a goalless-draw at San Siro, and followed it up in November in Spain, when Barca came away with a 2-0 win thanks to Gerard Piqué and Pedro Rodríguez.
However, Inter have arguably been the more impressive side in the knockout stages – defeating Chelsea FC, José Morinho’s former team.
Inter had a convincing quarter final win coming through 2-0, however were against the easier CSKA Moscow – while Barcelona dominated 6-3 in their clash against the English Arsenal.
The Spanish side will be looking to secure the all important away goal in Italy next Tuesday, as in their last four semi-final home legs they have not managed to hit the back of the net.
However the Spanish dominant force will be without key midfielder Andrés Iniesta due to a thigh injury, and will remain sidelined for four weeks.
Despite the home advantage, Inter Milan are outsiders going into the match at $3.20, while Barca are at $2.20.
On Wednesday the 21st of April, FC Bayern Munich will be at home to Lyon in a battle between the experienced and the debutants.
Kicking off in the German city of Munich at 8.45pm, Australians will have to be watching at 4.45am on Thursday to watch the clash.
The first leg match will mark Bayern’s 13th appearance in a UEFA Champions League semi-final, which the German side will hope takes them through to their first final in the competition since 2001.
Bayern will be coming into the semis of the competition on a high, beating arch European rivals Manchester United FC in the quarters on away goals (agg:4-4), while the French force beat Bordeaux 3-2 over both legs, and will be looking for that all important away goal next Wednesday.
With the home ground advantage, along with their wealth of European experience, Bayern Munich are going into the game with odds of $1.73 in comparison to Lyon’s $4.50.
To place a bet on the first leg of the semi-finals, or to check out the range of markets on offer to punters, head to Ladbrokes.com.au now!