This week sees one of the most exciting weeks of football across Europe as we reach the semi final stage of the two premiere club competitions. The Champions League and the Europa League will see the first legs of their respective semifinals played this week from Tuesday through to Thursday, all games kicking off at 8pm on their respective nights.

There is plenty of Premier League interest across the games with half of the teams competing in both competitions coming from England. Chelsea and Manchester City are flying the flag in the Champions League, while Manchester United and Arsenal are still going strong in the Europa League.

Could we see another repeat of the 2018-19 season when both big European finals were contested solely by British teams? (Liverpool v Tottenham in the Champions League Final and Arsenal v Chelsea in the Europa League Final).

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Let’s now kick off our previews of the big four games this week with the action in the Champions League starting on Tuesday night.

Champions League Semi Finals 1st Leg

Tuesday 27th April

Real Madrid v Chelsea

It was a tough group stage campaign for Real Madrid to begin their Champions League journey. The Spanish aces were beaten twice in Group B, but won three of their last four games to still top the group ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach.

In contrast, Chelsea had a much easier time of things in Group E, winning four and drawing two of their six games to finish unbeaten on 14 points, a point ahead of Sevilla.

In the Round of 16, Real Madrid defeated Atalanta 4-1 on aggregate over two legs to make the quarterfinals, while Chelsea defeated Atletico Madrid impressively 3-0 on aggregate to make their way into the last eight.

In those games, Real Madrid were 3-1 aggregate winners over Liverpool, all the goals coming in the home leg for Madrid followed by a 0-0 at Anfield, while Chelsea defeated FC Porto 2-0 in Portugal meaning that their 1-0 home less ensured that they still progressed into the semifinal.

Two former Chelsea stars could face their old team in this game, Thibault Courtois seems certain to start in goal for Real Madrid, while Eden Hazard will most likely start on the bench as he makes his way back from a thigh injury. Chelsea don’t appear to have too many injury concerns of their own for this game, but Thomas Tuchel will face a number of tactical decisions and personnel choices to try and match up against Real.

Match Tips – This should be a good game and I think it will be a very close game. In fact, I envisage this one finishing in a draw (11/5 with bet365)

Wednesday 28th April

Paris St Germain v Manchester City

Paris St Germain came through a tough group featuring Red Bull Leipzig and Manchester United, pipping the German side to top spot in the group with both sides amassing 12 points. Manchester City though had no such issues in Group C, winning five of their six games and drawing the other as they topped the group with 16 points.

In the knockout phase though PSG have really come to life notching up two superb away wins. First they beat Barcelona 4-1 in Spain, Mbappe scoring a hat-trick, and followed that with a 1-1 draw at home to make the quarterfinals.  There they beat holders Bayern Munich on away goals after winning 3-2 in Munich before losing 1-0 in Paris.

City have played two German opponents in the knockout phase and beaten both. Borussia Monchengladbach were despatched 4-0 on aggregate, before Dortmund were beaten in the quarterfinals 4-2 on aggregate.

This promises to be a hugely exciting game between arguably the two best teams left in the competition with both seeking their first ever Champions League trophy.

Match Tips – It’s not often I back City to lose a game but I think PSG will know they need a strong performance here and so I am backing the home side to land a narrow win at 21/10 with bet365.

Europa League Semi Finals 1st Leg

Thursday 29th April

Manchester United v AS Roma

The Europa League wasn’t Manchester United’s aim when they started the season, but after finishing third in Group H of the Champions League, they dropped into this tournament in the knockout phase. Aggregate wins over Real Sociedad (4-0), AC Milan (2-1) and Granada (4-0) have propelled the Red Devils into yet another semifinal.

There they face a Roma side that has lost just once in the competition this season. That came in the group stage as they finished top of their Group A ahead of Young Boys. Wins over Braga and Shakhtar Donetsk, both by an impressive 5-1 on aggregate came before a battling 3-2 aggregate win over Ajax in the quarterfinals.

The Italian side will have to overcome their dreadful record of just one win in 17 games in England in European competition if they are to get anything from the game at Old Trafford. Especially against a United team in good form of late.

Match Tips – Roma won’t be a pushover for United, but I expect the English side to earn the victory they need to take into the second leg. Back United to win at 4/7.

Villarreal v Arsenal

Villarreal have been the best team in the Europa League this season in terms of results. The Spaniards have played 12 games in total, winning 11 of those matches and drawing the other. They comfortably topped their group to qualify for the knockout phase and followed that up with comfortable wins over Red Bull Salzburg, Dynamo Kyiv and Dinamo Zagreb, winning all six legs home and away, to reach the semis.

Here they will face an Arsenal side that won all six of their Group Stage games, but who have since found wins harder to come by at home. They beat Benfica 3-2 at the Emirates, after a 1-1 draw in Lisbon, but then were beaten 1-0 at home by Olympiakos, however a 3-1 away win in Greece in the first leg saw them through.

The Gunners then were held 1-1 by Slavia Prague at home in the quarterfinals, but followed that up with a fine 4-0 win in the away leg to comfortably progress. However, Villarreal are going to be no pushovers, even if the Gunners are unbeaten in there four games against the Spaniards

Match Tips – Arsenal’s away record gives them a chance here and they have never been beaten by Villarreal, so I am going to go for the draw here which is 12/5 with bet365.