Soccer

UEFA Champions League predictions, expert picks: Can Bayern Munich rally vs. PSG?; Chelsea have edge vs. Porto

The final four in the UEFA Champions League will be set this week. Four second legs will determine the quartet of semifinalists, with PSG, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester City holding advantages after last week’s first legs. Can reigning champions Bayern Munich come back vs. PSG? Is there any hope for Liverpool against Real Madrid? Our team of experts is here to break down and predict the scoreline for every game this week.

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

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Bayern Munich

Date: Tuesday, April 13 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Live stream: Paramount+

Featured Game | PSG vs. Bayern Munich

Rongen’s take: Neither PSG nor Bayern will be able to field their strongest XIs but Pochettino team should have the guile in Mbappe and Neymar to overcome Flick’s squad. Pick: PSG 1, Bayern Munich 2 (PSG advance 4-4 on away goal aggregate)

Romano’s take: PSG are in excellent form and Mbappe is the undisputed star primed for another big night. Bayern, on the other hand, are going through a difficult period, on and off the field with big changes at the end of the season. So Paris can close the matter and move on to the next round. Pick: PSG 2, Bayern Munich 1 (PSG advance 5-3 on aggregate)

Echegaray’s take: Well, in the words of Larry David, I am feeling PRETT-AY PRETT-AY GOOD after predicting a 3-2 win for PSG so I am going to continue to ride this wave. I do see an improved performance from Bayern Munich and yes, even though they are still missing key personnel, they’ll want to prove a point in this competition. I mean, they’re Bayern for Pete’s sake. But PSG will have just about enough to go through. More goals in this one, but not as much of a goal fest as last week. PSG go through with a precious away goal differential. Pick: PSG 1, Bayern Munich 2 (PSG advance 4-4 on away goal aggregate)

Chiu’s take: Bayern were probably unlucky to not get more from the first leg. If you look at the stats, they kept 69 percent of possession, they had 31 shots compared to six from PSG, 15 corners to one, and won the xG battle 3.7 to 1.5. With Marquinhos out for the second leg, I see the reigning European Champions finding a way in Paris. Pick: Bayern 3, PSG 1 (Bayern Munich advance 5-4 on aggregate)

Johnson’s take: As much as we would love another 90 minutes of last Wednesday’s mayhem, I can see this being less chaotic while still remaining highly interesting and absorbing. I do not think that Pochettino will sit back on a slender Parisien lead, so expect the hosts to search for the killer goal. A score draw would not be a huge surprise. Pick: PSG 2, Bayern Munich 1 (PSG advance 5-3 on aggregate)

Benge’s take: Since Opta began recording Champions League data in 2010-11 Bayern Munich had never created four or more big chances in a game and not won it… until last week, when they made six against PSG and through a mixture of Kylian Mbappe’s brilliance and their own errors lost the first leg. Bayern are good enough to make a hatful of opportunities for themselves but without Robert Lewandowski they might fear that they will not take enough to win the tie. Pick: PSG 1, Bayern Munich 2 (PSG advance 4-4 on away goal aggregate)

Gonzalez’s take: Kylian Mbappe seems to be firing home in every match, and once again, not having Robert Lewandowski will mean Bayern don’t have enough, but just barely. Pick: PSG 2, Bayern 2 (PSG advance 5-4 on aggregate)

Herrera’s take: Lewandowski is working his way back and the match will likely be a thriller once again, but it won’t be enough and PSG will squeak by. Pick: PSG 2, Bayern Munich 2 (PSG advance 5-4 on aggregate)

Goodman’s take: The first match certainly showed the potential for fireworks, and there’s no reason the return leg should be any different. But this time it’s Bayern doing just enough to get through as PSG’s Keylor Navas can only stand on his head for so long. Pick: PSG 1, Bayern Munich 3 (Bayern advance 5-4 on aggregate)

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Chelsea vs. Porto

Date: Tuesday, April 13 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Live stream: Paramount+

Featured Game | Chelsea vs. Porto

Rongen’s take: The FA Cup and Premier League may be playing on Chelsea’s minds, but Tuchel will not let a hint of complacency creep in. Porto are in good form domestically, but overturning a 2-0 deficit is surely too much of a climb for the “visitors.” Pick: Chelsea 2, Porto 1 (Chelsea advance 4-0 on aggregate)

Romano’s take: The result of the first leg will help Tuchel’s team a lot, it will be a game of control and management. Chelsea can confirm themselves and go through without too many problems. Pick: Chelsea 1, Porto 0 (Chelsea advance 3-0 on aggregate)

Echegaray’s take: I think the job was done in the first leg for Thomas Tuchel, who is picking up momentum with Chelsea once again after a solid performance this past weekend against Crystal Palace. The team is getting healthier and he might not even need N’Golo Kante, as they look ahead to a key semifinal date in the F.A. Cup against Man City. Porto started both halves last time out but its the final 15 minutes that kill them. They might have a healthier team this time out but I don’t think it will be enough for them to go through. My original bracket already busted as I had the Portuguese side going through, but no way I see Chelsea giving up this 2-0 lead. Pick: Chelsea 2, Porto 1 (Chelsea advance 4-1 on aggregate)

Chiu’s take: Porto are being slept on. They get their two top goalscorers in Mehdi Taremi and Sergio Olivera back on Tuesday. I think they’ll get on the scoresheet and give Chelsea a tough fight throughout this second leg. However, I don’t think it will be enough to get Porto through to advance. Christian Pulisic is back in form and coming off of a great two-goal performance against Crystal Palace. I can see the American playing a key role in Seville. N’golo Kante is still coming back from injury. He’ll have a role to play in helping Chelsea defend their advantage. Pick: Chelsea 1, Porto 1 (Chelsea advance 3-1 on aggregate)

Johnson’s take: Tuchel’s Blues to finish the job in Seville with a two-goal advantage. Pick: Chelsea 1, Porto 0 (Chelsea advance 3-0 on aggregate)

Benge’s take: Porto are going to have to throw bodies forward to overturn this two goal deficit, not necessarily an approach that suits them nor one that has been particularly effective against Thomas Tuchel’s side. Look for the likes of Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and an improving Kai Havertz to pick Pepe and company apart with rapid transitions. Pick: Chelsea 1, Porto 0 (Chelsea advance 3-0 on aggregate)

Gonzalez’s take: The Blues cruise into the semifinals with another strong performance against the Portuguese side, which has run out of gas. Pick: Chelsea 2, Porto 1 (Chelsea advance 4-1 on aggregate)

Herrera’s take: Timo Werner’s scoring woes continue, but the Blues pull off the win against a pesky Porto. Pick: Chelsea 1, Porto 0 (Chelsea advance 3-1 on aggregate)

Goodman’s take: Chelsea control the match and kill of Porto without too much bother. Pick: Chelsea 1, Porto 0 (Chelsea advance 3-0 on aggregate)

Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Date: Wednesday, April 14 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Live stream: Paramount+

Featured Game | Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Rongen’s take: Real Madrid recorded second big victory in the space of four days when defeating Barcelona 2-1 at home on Saturday. Los Blancos are currently unbeaten in 13 consecutive meetings, recording eleven victories and two draws in the process. Pick: Liverpool 1, Real Madrid 1 (Real Madrid advance 4-2 on aggregate)

Romano’s take: A balanced and beautiful game. The difference can be made by the experience of Real Madrid, just like in the first round. Liverpool have had a complicated season at Anfield and this is one more aspect to consider. The great comebacks without the help of the Kop are certainly more complicated. Pick: Liverpool 1, Real Madrid 1 (Real Madrid advance 4-2 on aggregate)

Echegaray’s take: This might just be the toughest one to predict, simply because both clubs continue their momentum. Real Madrid were fantastic against Barcelona in a thrilling Clasico, but did lose Lucas Vazquez for the season due to injury. This is a big plus for Jurgen Klopp’s side as Andy Robertson and the front three can capitalize the left side. But I learned my lesson last time around. I will not bet against Zinedine Zidane anymore. Liverpool will fight and win the evening but in the end, Real Madrid’s experience will outdo anything they face from the Premier League defending champions and go through. Pick: Liverpool 2, Real Madrid 1 (Real Madrid advance 4-3 on aggregate)

Chiu’s take: Vinicius has stepped it up. He was incredible in the first leg and equally good in El Clasico against Barcelona on Saturday. While I doubt he slows down, Real Madrid missing key players will catch up to them eventually. I can see Liverpool learning from their mistakes in the first leg and overcoming this 3-1 deficit. Liverpool have to know now to pressure Toni Kross when he’s on the ball before he can pick his head up and ping his lethal passes. Pick: Liverpool 2, Real Madrid 0 (Liverpool advance 3-3 on away goal aggregate)

Johnson’s take: Klopp’s men have plenty of work to do to save this tie, but a two-goal win would be enough on away goals. Normally, I would fancy the Reds to do it in Europe, but this clean sheet prediction feels very optimistic after the opening leg. If Liverpool win on the night with Real going through, I would not be shocked. Pick: Liverpool 2, Real Madrid 0 (Liverpool advance 3-3 on away goal aggregate)

Benge’s take: Liverpool can’t be as bad as they were in the first leg. They will press Toni Kroos. Trent Alexander-Arnold probably won’t offer a masterclass in errors. But that still does not change the fact they have a defense that is easily beaten by the pace of Vinicius Junior and company. Madrid are starting to find form at just the right moment and should get at least the one goal that would make the tie too much for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Pick: Liverpool 1, Real Madrid 1 (Real Madrid advance 4-2 on aggregate)

Gonzalez’s take: The issues the Reds have at the back will be evident, and while the Reds will make it close, Real Madrid in the end make it to the last four thanks to Karim Benzema. Pick: Liverpool 2, Real Madrid 2 (Real Madrid advance 5-3 on aggregate)

Herrera’s take: Zinedine Zidane will have his squad on the pursuit for more goals, though the scoreline in this one won’t be as massive either, Real will advance. Pick: Liverpool 1, Real Madrid 2 (Real Madrid advance 5-2 on aggregate)

Goodman’s take: Liverpool make a real effort and getting back into the tie, and take an early lead, but ultimately the deficit is just too great and Madrid get a goal on the counter to put this one to bed. Pick: Liverpool 2, Real Madrid 1 (Real Madrid advance 4-3 on aggregate)

Borussia Dortmund vs. Manchester City

Date: Wednesday, April 14 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Live stream: Paramount+

Featured Game | Borussia Dortmund vs. Manchester City

Rongen’s take: Borussia Dortmund are one of the most exciting teams in the competition, but they can’t match the consistency of City. Defensively Dortmund are poor, and the way City dealt with Erling Haaland in the first leg, it will be smooth sailing for Pep and Co. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 1, Manchester City 2 (Man City advance 4-2 on aggregate)

Romano’s take: The same result of the first leg upside down, possible. Manchester City need to be careful and will play a game of concentration, with the aim of scoring as soon as possible. In the end, the quality and level of Guardiola’s men will lead to the result. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 1, Manchester City 2 (Man City advance 4-2 on aggregate)

Echegaray’s take: Pep Guardiola are going through a rough month right now. After getting away with one thanks to Phil Foden in the first leg, Man City lost to 10-man Leeds United this past weekend. This either means two things. Either they stand up and completely retaliate in this tournament, showing everyone why they’re one of the best clubs in Europe OR they fall once again, pressured by the expectations of finally winning the Champions League. I have to stick with my gut here and expect Man City to win. But I see Erling Haaland doing way more in this leg and becoming much more of a headache. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 2, Manchester City 2 (Man City advance 4-3 on aggregate)

Chiu’s take: The first leg was disappointing for Dortmund with the call against Jude Bellingham that should have been a goal that would have changed the game. He had a great performance and also scored against Stuttgart over the weekend. I expect him to continue to light it up but this time with Erling Haaland also shining. Manchester City will not sit back and try to hold the lead, so they will have their chances and will likely finish them as well. City will do just enough to hang on and advance to the semis. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 2, Manchester City 2 (Man City advance 4-3 on aggregate)

Johnson’s take: Unfortunately, this seems to be the end of the line of Haaland and his teammates. I think that the Germans will put in another credible before falling short by one goal again. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 1, Manchester City 2 (Man City advance 4-2 on aggregate)

Benge’s take: City were not that good by their own remarkably lofty standards in the first week. They still created great chances for the excellent Phil Foden and won the game. A slight uptick in performance would comfortably be enough to eliminate Dortmund. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 0, Manchester City 2 (Man City advance 4-1 on aggregate)

Gonzalez’s take: The German side push City to the brink, but in the end the quality of the visitors is too much for Dortmund’s inconsistent defense. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 2, Manchester City 2 (Man City advance 4-3 on aggregate)

Herrera’s take: Haaland will get his goal but Man City carry the advantage and cruise to the semifinals on another solid performance from De Bruyne. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 1, Manchester City 2 (Man City advance 4-2 on aggregate)

Goodman’s take: Manchester City flirted with disaster in the first leg, but they’re more careful this time around, and Guardiola’s team plays keep away for long stretches of the match to neutralize the force that is Erling Haaland. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 0, Manchester City 2 (Man City advance 4-1 on aggregate)


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



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