Saturday, 25 April 2015

Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid - who will win the Champions League? Our reporters have their say...


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  • Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid make up last four
  • Real Madrid are looking to retain their title and win for the 11th time
  • Barcelona have won three Champions Leagues since 2006
  • Bayern Munich are five-time winners and last won at Wembley in 2013
  • Juventus' two European Cup wins came in 1985 and 1996
The semi-final line-up for the Champions League has been confirmed and, although there may be no English involvement, four European giants are just three games from being crowned champions of the continent in Berlin on June 6.

With Real Madrid and Juventus winning on Wednesday to join Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the last four, this season's competition is one of the toughest to call in recent memory.

We asked our team of reporters who they think will win this season's Champions League.

SAMI MOKBEL - Barcelona

Momentum is key at this point in the season and Barcelona are in overdrive. Their early-season woes are a distant memory and Luis Enrique is finally getting his point across. Lionel Messi remains phenomenal and a certain Luis Suarez is hitting top gear just at the right time.

Barcelona's formidable front three of Luis Suarez , Neymar and Lionel Messi
Barcelona's formidable front three of Luis Suarez (left) , Neymar (centre) and Lionel Messi (right)

NEIL ASHTON - Bayern Munich

They overcame their blip (the rip in the seam of Pep's trousers) to power their way beyond Porto in the second leg of the quarter-final and remind everyone just how good they are. They have much to prove after last season's disappointment but they are a phenomenal team. I expect them to draw Barcelona in the semi-final.

Bayern Munich produced a stunning display in the second leg to beat Porto in the quarter-finals
Bayern Munich produced a stunning display in the second leg to beat Porto in the quarter-finals

JOE BERNSTEIN - Barcelona

Bayern and Barcelona are both better teams than Juventus or Real Madrid and to separate them is nigh on impossible. But given the backroom strife at Bayern, particularly over Arjen Robben's injury, I'd narrowly go for Messi and Barcelona ending their four-year Champions League 'drought'.

DOMINIC KING - Barcelona

To think at the start of the season, after Real Madrid pummelled them in the first Clasico, that we thought the beginning of the end had started. Now they look majestic once more and the front three of Messi, Neymar and Suarez gives them an edge over all their rivals. Hopefully it will be a straight shootout between them and Bayern Munich in Berlin. This is the best Champions League semi-final line-up ever and we might get the spectacular final to go with it.

LEE CLAYTON - Juventus

Carlos Tevez, Paul Pogba and Gianluigi Buffon - experience, goals and know-how. Tevez isn't Messi (or Cristiano Ronaldo), Pogba isn't Thomas Muller and Buffon isn't Manuel Neuer: Yes, they are ugly bugs on a catwalk of super powers, but they CAN win this. After all, Denmark and Greece both won the Euros.

Juventus celebrate their 1-0 aggregate victory over Monaco in the last eight of the Champions League
Juventus celebrate their 1-0 aggregate victory over Monaco in the last eight of the Champions League
Juventus striker Carlos Tevez leads the scoring in Serie A this season with 18 goals
Juventus striker Carlos Tevez leads the scoring in Serie A this season with 18 goals
RIATH AL-SAMARRAI - Barcelona

Since it's been established that we don't live in a post-Messi (48 goals in 49 starts) world I can't bring myself to bet against him. Would love to see them in a final against Bayern Munich.

CHRIS WHEELER - Bayern Munich

After that crushing 5-0 aggregate defeat by Real Madrid in the semi-finals a year ago, and the shock of suffering a 3-1 first-leg loss to Porto in this season’s quarters, expect the real Bayern to stand up and deliver another Champions League triumph for Guardiola. Is it written in the stars that Barcelona will be standing in his way?

LAURIE WHITWELL - Barcelona

The front three of Messi, Suarez, and Neymar are beginning to click to devastating effect and the magical allure of Barcelona is returning. It would be some turnaround from the disputes and disappointments of early season, but this is a team full of players who know how to win the trophy.

Neymar scored both goals in Barcelona's 2-0 second-leg victory over Paris Saint-Germain at the Nou Camp
Neymar scored both goals in Barcelona's 2-0 second-leg victory over Paris Saint-Germain at the Nou Camp
LAURA WILLIAMSON - Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo is looking for his third Champions League title and a second in a row with Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo is looking for his third Champions League title and a second in a row with Real Madrid
They might be depleted by injuries but experience and pedigree count in this competition and, as we saw against Atletico Madrid, you can never count against the 10-time winners. Or, indeed, a certain Ronaldo.
Javier Hernandez's 88th-minute winner saw Real Madrid edge past their local rivals Atletico Madrid
Javier Hernandez's 88th-minute winner saw Real Madrid edge past their local rivals Atletico Madrid

ROB DRAPER - Bayern Munich

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben are on the way back, Pep has a point to prove and the team have the memory of that awful semi-final against Real Madrid last year to drive them on. As long as they don't take their foot off the gas having already won the Bundesliga, they'll make good the disappointment of last year.

Robert Lewandowski celebrates one of five first-half goals Bayern Munich scored against Porto on Tuesday
Robert Lewandowski celebrates one of five first-half goals Bayern Munich scored against Porto on Tuesday
JACK GAUGHAN - Barcelona

I'm tempted to say Bayern Munich but they've got similar buckling deficiencies to the Barcelona we've seen recently. By contrast, the Catalans have found their misplaced defensive steel, have a coach whose win percentage eclipses all to precede him and - well - possess Messi. And Neymar. And Suarez.

SAM CUNNINGHAM - Bayern Munich

I would back Guardiola to outwit any of the remaining managers in the tournament with the players at his disposal. Some were writing Bayern Munich off after their 3-1 first-leg defeat by Porto and look how that went. Everyone talks about Messi and Ronaldo, but the collective force of Bayern players is frightening.

OLIVER TODD - Barcelona

After a difficult start to the season they've hit form at the right time. Enrique has found a way to get the front three of Messi, Suarez and Neymar to fire and even if you can keep two of them quiet - as Paris Saint-Germain did on Tuesday - the other will make you pay.
DailyMail

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