CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIRST-LEG SEMIFINALS PREDICTIONS
2023-05-08 · 3 min read · Champions League/Soccer
Visionhaus/Getty Images | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images | Daniele Mascolo/Reuters
And then there were four. We now know the four semi-finalists in this season's Champions League: AC Milan, Internazionale, Manchester City and Real Madrid. Reigning Premier League champions City dispatched Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich -- one of the pre-tournament favourites -- to set up a rematch of last season's semifinals’ against trophy holders Madrid, who made light work of eliminating Chelsea.
The other semi-final pits local rivals Milan and Inter against each other, after they beat Serie A leaders Napoli and Portuguese side Benfica respectively to set up a clash between two clubs who have won the European Cup 10 times between them. Madrid will host City at the Bernabeu on May 9 before travelling to the Etihad on May 17, while the two Milan clubs will play their two additional instalments of the Derby Della Madonnina on May 10 and 16.
Real Madrid vs Manchester City
Real Madrid enters the match on home soil as underdogs. How many times of you heard that? Hardly ever. In fact, I don’t think there is another team in the world that would be considered the betting favourites stepping in the Bernabeu. That’s how good City have been this season. Currently, Real Madrid sit at +230 underdogs to win the first leg with City paying at +120. A draw sit at +270.
These are odds that just don’t let you bet on Manchester City. At plus +120 the risk and reward just do not balance. You cannot bet on a team to beat Real Madrid at home confidently. The only time you place that bet is when the payout is worth it. It is not worth it this time.
That leads me to think a draw at +270 may be the best bet here. City are solid enough to get a draw on the road, come back home, and finish the job. That is what I see happening. Give me Erling Haaland to score a goal in the first half with Karim Benzema following suit in the second half tying the game.
Prediction: 1-1 draw
AC Milan vs Inter Milan
We know that these two Milan teams share the same stadium, right? So really, is there any sort of home-field advantage? Is there home field advantage when the Clippers host the Lakers? Not really. This game is extremely tough to call. Firstly, not only are they the biggest of rivals but they are both struggling to even stay in the top-four in the Italian league and qualify for Champions League next year. Truly anything can happen in this match. Inter come into the match as betting favourites at +162, AC Milan at +230 and a draw near the same at +233. Both teams have weaknesses but at the same time both have shown that they can overcome hurdles when needed. I think Inter have had a more difficult course to the semi-finals particularly in the group stage needed to beat Barcelona for the second spot in the group behind Bayern Munich. For this reason I think Inter are the stronger side and may prevail. I also see this being a low-scoring game. If you can find odds for total goals totalling under two-and-a-half at odds better than +200 bet the under in a heartbeat.
Prediction: AC Milan 0 – 1 Inter Milan
By: Aaron Cantin