Madrid Derby - Monaco Juventus set for Champions League semis

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

By Andrew Ryan
BETCRIS Champions League  Real Madrid VS Atletico Madrid

The Champions League is down to its last four, and if Real Madrid is going to ultimately win this tournament, it's going to have earned it. Los Blancos have drawn Atletico Madrid in the semifinals after being stuck with Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, in the other semifinal matchup, Juventus, who just disposed of Barcelona, will take on the biggest underdog left of the bunch, AS Monaco.

Odds To Win the Champions League

Juventus +150

Real Madrid +162

Atletico Madrid +400

AS Monaco +800

This Juventus team has been fantastic here in the Champions League. The Old Lady has still yet to allow a goal in the knockout rounds, and that's now 10 matches played against some of the best teams in the world with just two goals conceded by Gianluigi Buffon, including eight clean sheets. All of a sudden, after being eliminated in the first knockout round last season by Bayern Munich, this Juventus team has been recognized as a legitimate threat. It's not that this team is figuring out how to score a ton of goals; it isn't. But Buffon and his defense have been brilliant, and just to hold Barca scoreless for 180 minutes is a feat that should have the rest of the teams in the Champions League shaking in their boots.

AS Monaco is probably the most surprising team to be here in the last four. The French side is still in the midst of a title fight in Ligue 1, and it's amazing that they've figured out how to reach this point in the Champions League concurrently. What makes the Red and Whites so fantastic here is their offense. All of a sudden, Radamel Falcao and the crew have put in three goals in four straight UCL matches against Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City.

Thus, the matchup between these two teams is going to be brilliant between a team that has had the best offense in the UCL and the team that has had the best defense. It should be a tremendous tie, though Juventus is clearly favored to advance, knowing that it's the favorite to win the tournament at +150.

Real Madrid though, has the most talented team left in this field and one of the best in the world. Los Blancos have had some problems at times this year against the best teams out there, and that includes losing El Clasico in La Liga on the heels of being beaten in 90 minutes by Bayern Munich at home in the second leg of the quarterfinals.

The difference maker though, is Cristiano Ronaldo. CR7 now has 100 Champions League goals in his career after his hat trick in the second leg against the German giants, and there just isn't another elite scorer quite like this.

Again though, we have a good matchup between a team that loves playing free and open against one that wants to tighten things up. Atletico Madrid has allowed some goals here in the UCL, something that won't please Diego Simeone all that much, especially since the route to the semis hasn't been all that difficult. Beating Leicester City in the quarters and Bayer Leverkusen in the Round of 16, especially after a really easy jaunt into the knockout rounds that included two matches against Rostov and two against PSV Eindhoven is about as easy as it gets.

Atletico Madrid though, has played tough against its rivals from across Madrid this season, and this could be a really tough 180 minutes as a result. Is Atletico at +400 the best bet to win the Champions League? It's entirely possible.

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