UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid-Chelsea, PSG-Manchester City Betting Odds, Predictions, Expert Picks – NewsOpener

The end is in sight as the Champions League semifinals begin on Tuesday night but the four teams still standing will face an almighty test if they are to lift the trophy in Istanbul next month.

Real Madrid host Chelsea on Tuesday in the first game, one where our expert panel expects defenses to reign supreme between two of Europe’s most obdurate backlines. The fireworks might just come the following day when Manchester City travel to France to take on a Paris Saint-Germain side whose offensive firepower has already sent Barcelona and Bayern Munich crashing out of the competition.

All Champions League games can be viewed live and on demand on Paramount+. Let’s get to the predictions:

Real Madrid vs. Chelsea

Date: Tuesday, April 27 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Live stream: Paramount+ and CBS Sports Network

Featured Game | Real Madrid vs. Chelsea

Rongen’s take: Away-day discipline has been a key component of Thomas Tuchel’s reign, with Chelsea yet to stumble away from Stamford Bridge in any match since his arrival. Pick: Real Madrid 1, Chelsea 1

Romano’s take: Chelsea’s defense can be a factor in this leg in what promises to be an extremely balanced match. Of course, the experience of Real Madrid can help to score at least one goal with Benzema in super form. Pick: Real Madrid 1, Chelsea 0

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Echegaray’s take: Real Madrid’s hopes of retaining their title as La Liga champions suffered a real dent this past weekend after a stalemate against Real Betis. Good news, however, as Eden Hazard returned to the side and made a 77th minute appearance, so he’ll be good to go against his former club. For Chelsea, I think it’s pretty obvious how Thomas Tuchel will approach this game: Hold and don’t concede. Since the West Brom debacle, they have only allowed two goals so defensive protection is clearly the No. 1 priority. They have been very, very impressive. My worry for Chelsea in the Champions League, however, is that they haven’t been tested in the knockout stage and with all due respect to Porto and even Atletico Madrid, I think Zinedine Zidane’s side is a totally different animal. Los Blancos, as always, are looking to take care of business at home first, so o I see a very tight game, with Real Madrid just about taking it. Pick: Real Madrid 1, Chelsea 0

Johnson’s take: I see a tight affair with Zinedine Zidane’s men sneaking a one-goal lead ahead of a return leg that gives Thomas Tuchel’s side every chance of advancing without an away goal. Advantage: Real. Pick: Real Madrid 1, Chelsea 0

Benge’s take: Two of the three best defensive teams in the competition thus far (at least in terms of expected goals conceded) are unlikely to give away much for their opponents to pounce on. There is sufficient quality in Karim Benzema for Real Madrid to believe they will only need one chance, it’s just that Chelsea likely won’t give it to them. Pick: Real Madrid 0, Chelsea 0

Gonzalez’s take: Two of the best defenses go at it in a match that will feel more like a game of chess at times. Who can limit those mistakes at the back? In the end, Karim Benzema fires Real Madrid to a narrow win that doesn’t decide the tie. Pick: Real Madrid 1, Chelsea 0

Herrera’s take: Real Madrid have turned a shaky group stage start in the Champions League into a deep and fierce run into were they traditionally belong. The attack for Chelsea has been questionable at best, and while their defense could come up clutch, it won’t be enough to stop Karim Benzema. Pick: Real Madrid 2, Chelsea 1 

Goodman’s take: Chelsea have settled into a very successful rhythm under manager Thomas Tuchel, but it’s one where the attack come and goes while the defense remains constant. On the road against an enigmatic Real Madrid team look for Chelsea to be extremely careful not to give Karim Benzema any good looks while hoping to create a counterattacking chance or two of their own. Pick: Real Madrid 0, Chelsea 0

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester City

Date: Wednesday, April 28 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Live stream: Paramount+ and CBS Sports Network

Featured Game | PSG vs. Manchester City

Rongen’s take: PSG fell just short in 2019/20, but after beating last years champions, could this be Neymar and Mbappe’s season to write their name into the record books? Unfortunately Pep Guardiola’s side are the only team yet to lose in this year’s competition. Pick: PSG 2, Manchester City 2

Romano’s take: Quality, speed and a lot of stars. A special night for Neymar and Mbappe, but with teamwork Man City can absolutely stay on course for the return leg. Pick: PSG 2, Manchester City 1

Echegaray’s take: Pep Guardiola believes PSG are “almost impossible to control” as the amount of firepower is almost too much to deal with. But if there’s a side who can handle it, it’s Man City. This is a very difficult one to figure out, especially in the first leg as we don’t know what tactical game will be played: control or react. Guardiola doesn’t know how NOT to control so I presume City will do their best in Paris to maintain possession and exploit the full backs. Could this be a day when he actually uses a natural No. 9? We’ll see. Either way, this should be an entertaining affair, if we were to go by manager head-to-head history in the competition. It was of course in 2019, when Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham beat City on away goal differential (4-4) in the quarter final stages. This is a different time and scenario, but the quality in competition remains. Pick: PSG 2, Manchester City 1

Johnson’s take: Mauricio Pochettino and his players will need to pick up where they left off against Bayern Munich as they are used to playing their first legs away from home. On any other day, PSG would have scored at least once against the German side and a similar display against City will provide goals. However, I do see Pep Guardiola’s men returning home with an away goal. PSG to draw first blood. Pick: PSG 2, Manchester City 1

Benge’s take: PSG might have the sort of devastating counter-attacking threat that can exploit any spaces in City’s high line but the quality of football Pep Guardiola’s side of late, including in a dominant 1-0 win over Tottenham in Sunday’s EFL Cup final, is at a level that perhaps only Bayern Munich can match. Mauricio Pochettino’s side has already proven more than capable of finding the gaps in the armor of Europe’s best — and Poch knows just what is needed to take an ordinary time to the final — but City are the better all-around team and merit their favorites tag. Pick: PSG 1, Manchester City 2

Gonzalez’s take: A match loaded with attacking talent, both teams are under serious pressure to deliver in a cup they have only been able to dream of winning. There will be goals, and there could be a lot of them, but it is a match where City go back home with a narrow advantage on away goals. Pick: PSG 2, Manchester City 2

Herrera’s take: The match that will have all eyes on Kylian Mbappe and Phil Foden going head to head. PSG will come out on top, though it won’t be easy against Pep Guardiola’s organized side. Look for Neymar to help PSG edge out a narrow win. Pick: PSG 2, Manchester City 1

Goodman’s take: Manchester City are the best team in Europe but PSG have been giant killers this season in Europe. Except Guardiola to start conservatively away from home as is his habit in many Champions League ties, and have City try to keep the ball in order to keep Neymar and Kylian Mbappe from creating great chances. But after a moment of magic from the two stars, City will have to scramble to get back in the match. Pick: PSG 1, Manchester City 1

Thanks for checking us out, and good luck with your picks!

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