Football: UEFA Champions League semis to thrill fans
Monday, April 28, 2014
ANKARA - The second-leg clashes in the UEFA Champions League are set to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Germany's Bayern Munich, the winners last season of the most prestigious tournament in club level in Europe, will meet Spanish giants Real Madrid in a return match on Tuesday in Munich.
Conducted by Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca, the clash at Allianz Arena will kick off at 8:45 p.m. (1845GMT).
Real Madrid are keeping their advantage as they won the first leg 1-0 in Madrid.
No players from either team have been suspended.
But in Bayern Munich, in addition to their back-up goalkeeper German Tom Starke, Spanish central midfielder Thiago Alcantara and Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri are unable to play because of injuries.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid may lack two regulars - Spanish defender Alvaro Arbeloa and forward Jese.
If Real Madrid's Portuguese powerhouse Cristiano Ronaldo scores a goal against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, he will break a new record.
Having 14 goals in the Champions League this season, Ronaldo would end Argentine star Lionel Messi's reign by being the top scorer in one UEFA Champions League season if he finds the net just once against "Die Bayern".
In 2011-12, Barcelona's world-class forward Lionel Messi managed to score 14 goals in one Champions League season, which made him equalize the record of Milan's Brazilian-Italian forward Jose Altafini from the 1962-63 season.
In the other semis game, London team Chelsea will host Spanish La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.
The game in Chelsea's home ground of Stamford Bridge will kick off at 8:45 p.m. (1845GMT).
In home team Chelsea, Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech is unable to play because of a shoulder injury.
Two regulars of the London team, experienced English central midfielder Frank Lampard and Nigerian defensive midfielder John Obi Mikel, also have yellow card suspensions.
Away team Atletico Madrid may lack their 30-year-old Spanish captain Gabriel Fernandez Arenas - or "Gabi" - who will miss the match in London due to yellow card suspension after he collected 3 cards.
The first match played in Atletico Madrid's home of Vicente Calderon Stadium ended as a 0-0 draw.
The fixture of the semis in the UEFA Champions League is as follows:
Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid at 20:45 CET
Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid at 20:45 CET
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