The Champions League semi-finalists - ranked

15 April 2021 03:30

And then there were four.

With the quarter-finals out of the way, the Champions League has officially entered heavyweight territory. No more stragglers, just four teams all in with a genuine chance of winning Europe's ultimate prize: Chelsea, Man City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

The difference from the last eight to the last four is quite staggering. In the quarters, the attitude is very relaxed. Find yourselves in the semi-final of a Champions League, however, and suddenly there's a realisation of 'hang on, we could actually win this, y'know'.

So, with two weeks to wait until the big night, 90min has ranked each remaining side on their chances of success.

4. Chelsea

One team has to be ranked last, but by no means are Chelsea a weak link or a side to write off.

Since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel, the Blues have suddenly been making the most out of an immensely talented roster which, actually, has some serious depth too - key in a knockout competition.

Their somewhat safe passage to the semis is a double-edged sword, however, meaning they're yet to properly be tested in the knockout stages. They might find their sticking point in Real Madrid.

3. Real Madrid

The first half of Real Madrid's season saw them well out of the La Liga title race and scraping through the Champions League group stage by the skin of their teeth.

Since the turn of the year, however, Zinedine Zidane has galvanised his side and powered through Atalanta and more impressively Liverpool, without a number of key players.

The loss of those names could ultimately harm them, but Zidane's tactical pragmatism and this newfound fight within the Real squad means they must be considered a real threat.

You simply cannot write off a side that has won four Champions Leagues in five years; that competition knowledge is unmatched. Also consider that Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and even Eden Hazard will come back into the fold, and that's one hell of a side.

2. Paris Saint-Germain

These two are bags of fun | Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Frankly, it feels absurd to put last season's finalists anywhere lower than top of the rankings, especially considering they've just knocked out last season's winners.

But while Les Parisiens possess a front three that would strike fear into any defender and the health of their ankles, there is an air of mortality about them.

Managed by Mauricio Pochettino, PSG's league form is still stuttering and the pool of more experienced managers might just catch him out. Football heritage is a force to be reckoned with.

1. Manchester City

Seriously, what more do Manchester City need in order to go the length and win the Champions League?

There was once a case to suggest that no prime Sergio Aguero was the downfall, but Pep Guardiola has essentially stormed to the Premier League by playing with different players in a false nine role all season.

Tactical superiority, a manager who knows how to win the competition, arguably the best midfielder and squad depth on the planet and the motivation of still not having won the competition.

This year it has to be City's, because frankly, how many better opportunities will they get?

Source: 90min