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Champions League semis 1st look: Chelsea - Real Madrid; PSG - Man City

Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland is the hottest name on the transfer market, but Joe Prince-Wright, Andy Edwards and Nick Mendola aren't sure whether Man City is willing to spend the money it will take.

The UEFA Champions League semifinals are set for later this month and early next, as Chelsea - Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain - Man City as predicted by everyone.

Okay, maybe not entirely. Reigning champions Bayern Munich stumbled at the wrong time and Liverpool forgot its shooting boots against the injury-riddled defense of Real Madrid.

[ MORE: Klopp reacts to exit ]

All three of the four finalists rank amongst the world’s biggest spenders, led by “new money” Man City and PSG.

Real Madrid, of course, helped set the standard for audacious transfer fees and salaries via the Galactico movement and Chelsea splashed loads of cash this summer before a coaching change put them over the hump.

And here’s a fun fact: All four teams have at least one member of reigning World Cup winners France. Man City has Benjamin Mendy, Chelsea deploys N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud, Real Madrid boasts Raphael Varane, and PSG employs Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe.

How they got here

Man City beat Dortmund 2-1 on Wednesday to complete a 4-2 tie.

PSG held Bayern Munich to a single away goal in a 1-0 Tuesday loss, making their 3-2 win in Germany the difference.

Real Madrid played a scoreless second leg with Liverpool on Wednesday, winning 3-1 over two legs.

Chelsea lost 1-0 to Porto in the second leg Tuesday but its 2-0 away win was enough to send the Blues through to the semis.


SEVILLE, SPAIN - APRIL 13: Christian Pulisic of Chelsea FC competes for the ball with Kepler Lima ‘Pepe’ of Porto during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match between Chelsea FC and FC Porto at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on April 13, 2021 in Seville, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spain remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester City


First leg, 3pm ET April 27 -- PSG (+220) v Man City (+120) | Draw (+250)

Second leg, 3pm ET May 4 -- Man City v PSG


Man City has only played Ligue 1 sides eight times, and the last one is certainly sticking out in supporters’ memories, as City’s incredible chance to run to the final via single-legged ties last August ended at the hands of Lyon.

As for Man City’s history with PSG, the clubs have met thrice and not since the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League quarterfinal when City advanced via a 2-2 draw in Paris and a 1-0 win at home.

The sides also drew 0-0 at the Etihad in the 2008 UEFA Cup group stage. Fun little side note on that game: Kasper Schmeichel was on the bench for City, while Vincent Kompany started at midfield and Daniel Sturridge at right wing. On PSG’s side? Mamadou Sakho played left back and Claude Makelele captained the team.

League status and surrounding fixtures

PSG is three points behind Lille with just a half-dozen matches left, plus has at least one more French Cup match on its docket.

Man City might have its league status on lockdown as the champions-elect, but its quadruple status means four elimination matches including a final in their next six fixtures.

4/18 v Saint-Etienne (13)
4/21 French Cup quarterfinal v Angers
4/24 at Metz (10)
4/27 UCL v Man City
5/2 v Lens (5)
5/4 UCL at Man City
5/9 at Rennes (7)

Man City
Saturday - FA Cup semifinal at Chelsea
4/21 at Aston Villa (11)
4/25 League Cup final v Tottenham
4/27 UCL at PSG
5/1 at Crystal Palace (13)
5/4 UCL v PSG
5/8 v Chelsea (5)

The Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain Club Badges

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 30: The Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain club badges on their first team home shirts on March 30, 2021 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Visionhaus/Getty Images

Chelsea v Real Madrid


First leg, 3pm ET April 27 -- Real Madrid (+115) v Chelsea (+235) | Draw (+240)

Second leg, 3pm ET May 4 -- Chelsea v Real Madrid


It has been a long, long time since we’ve seen Chelsea tangle with Real Madrid, so there’s nothing to gather from history. The Blues beat Real in the 1998 UEFA Super Cup and won and drew against Madrid in the 1970-71 Cup Winners’ Cup.

So, yes, Real has never beaten Chelsea, which feels wild.

League status and surrounding fixtures

Real Madrid is set in the top four but sits just one point ahead of third-place Barcelona and one behind leaders Atletico Madrid, while Chelsea has an FA Cup semifinal on Saturday and very uncertain top four status. The Champions League is therefore a potentially pivotal lifeline to the 2021-22 UCL.

Saturday - FA Cup semifinal v Man City
Tuesday v Brighton (15)
4/24 at West Ham (4)
4/27 UCL at Real Madrid
5/1 v Fulham (18)
5/4 UCL v Real Madrid
5/8 at Man City (1)

Real Madrid
Sunday at Getafe (15)
4/21 at Cadiz (12)
4/24 v Real Betis (6)
4/24 UCL v Chelsea
5/1 v Osasuna (14)
5/4 UCL at Chelsea
5/9 v Sevilla (4)

How to watch, stream UEFA Champions League

Dates: April 27-28 and May 4-5 (Semifinals)
Location: Home and neutral stadiums across Europe
How to watch: CBS Sports
Live updates: UCL here at

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