Experts debate who will win the Champions League this season

The Champions League is in its final stages as we see the final four battle it out in the semi-finals this week for a place in Kiev.

Liverpool host AS Roma on Tuesday, while Real Madrid travel to Munich to take on Bayern.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have taken the competition by storm, dumping out favourites Manchester City in the last round.

But the Giallorossi caused an equally big shock by taking out Barcelona – despite trailing by three goals entering the second leg.

Here, our writers debate who will have all the glory at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium next month.

Darren Lewis: Real Madrid

It would be fantastic for Liverpool and for the Premier League if a club from this country could do it again. What a story it would be too if, in his debut season, Mo Salah’s explosion of goals could propel them to the trophy.

But Real have the experience, the know-how and the quality to do it. They are proven over course and distance in the more recent past having won it in three of the last four seasons.

They are also coming good in the second half of the campaign after a disappointing first half of the season. It is hard not to see them doing it again.

Andy Dunn: Liverpool

The Reds have the firepower to win the Champions League, make no mistake.

The challenge posed by Roma cannot be underestimated. Remember, this is a team that not only put three past Barcelona in the quarter-final second leg but also put three past Chelsea in both group games.

As an overall rule this season, though, Roma have not been especially prolific and Jurgen Klopp’s team will have a little too much for them.

Whereas Liverpool are favourites for their tie with Roma, they would go into a final as underdogs.

But at different stages of this season’s competition, Spurs and Juventus have highlighted Real Madrid’s vulnerability and Liverpool would fancy their chances of exposing them.

It is harder to pick holes in Bayern Munich’s form but the shock-and-awe element of Liverpool’s attacking arsenal could swing any one-off game.

Of the remaining four, there is no side head and shoulders above the rest but Liverpool just get the nod from me.

David Maddock: Liverpool

Why? Because the other teams left in the competition are actually really not that good. This is the worst Madrid team since the side that was thrashed by Liverpool in the Champions’ League in 2009.

They are third in La Liga and were lucky to even get through to the semi final.

Bayern have won the Bundesliga at a canter, but there isn’t much competition in Germany right now, and they have an ageing side which struggled badly against Sevilla in the last round.

Roma are a decent, organised, slightly below the top level Italian side, but essentially, they are a long ball team, who excel at set pieces.

While that may cause Liverpool some problems – because basically they are West Brom with knobs on – they simply shouldn’t be good enough to win the competition. Liverpool on the other hand, very much are good enough.

John Cross: Liverpool

Because I’m an old romantic.I desperately want them to win, will be great for English football, and I think they have attacking prowess to do it. No one will fancy defending against their forwards.

Neither Roma or whoever they get if they get through.

Aaron Flangan: Bayern Munich

Enough with the fairy tales, it doesn’t always work out how we all want it to.

Real Madrid turning round their early season form would be stunning, Liverpool being victorious playing as they do would be spectacular, Roma to shrug off their underdog status would be sensational.

Bayern Munich would be a bit, well, meh.

Yes, there isn’t the game storyline behind Bayern getting this far in the Champions League, but let’s not forget just how good of a team they are.

They have blitzed the Bundesliga once again and have a European specialist in charge in Jupp Heynckes.

Bayern know how to get the job done in games that matter – and the fact that nobody is talking about them, meaning they can go under the radar, will only work in their favour.

James Nursey: Real Madrid

The Spanish giants have the harder semi-final against Bayern Munich but they have won back-to-back Champions League titles so you know they are capable of another.

Cristiano Ronaldo appears in brilliant form and with the league out of reach in Spain, they can put all their efforts into being kings of Europe again.

Ibrahim Mustapha: Bayern Munich

The last time they won the competition in 2013, they did so under the watch of Jupp Heynckes.

The German legend is back in the hotseat after replacing Carlo Ancelotti earlier this season and the Bavarian side have been rampant ever since.

Having sealed the title with weeks to spare, they can focus all their energy on the Champions League.

Despite a poor record in recent years against semi final opponents Real Madrid, Bayern certainly have reason to believe this year will be different.

They will be encouraged by the fact Zidane’s team have struggled domestically as well as how they almost came unstuck against Juventus.

Jake Polden: Liverpool

But interestingly I think the Roma game will be a bigger test for Jurgen Klopp’s men than what awaits them in the final.

Liverpool proved they can beat anyone on the planet on their day when they smashed Manchester City over two legs in the quarter-finals.

And then this weekend, proved they can slip up with just as much finesse if they let complacency take hold of them, by dropping points against the Premier League’s basement boys.

Real Madrid may be the favourites in most people’s eyes but I back Liverpool to swarm Los Blancos or Bayern Munich, should they reach the final, and terrify them with their heavy metal football.

Having lost previous finals with Liverpool Klopp will be desperate to amend his record. Let’s just hope it hasn’t become a mental block.

Jack Rathborn: Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo is too hungry to let this opportunity slip: to inspire the biggest club in the world to three straight Champions League titles as the protagonist in each season would make his legacy, on paper at least, almost unbeatable.

To eclipse Lionel Messi and move clear with SIX Ballon d’Ors is likely to be equally as important to the Portuguese. While the World Cup will have some additional weighting, essentially Ronaldo is three games away from all but confirming that additional accolade.

Do not write off Roma though, who have comparable talent to Liverpool and a defence that has stood up to Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at home to make them impenetrable at the Olimpico. Don’t underestimate the impact of Eusebio Di Francesco either, who is arguably the best manager in the competition. Whilst their journey to this point is a surprise, going one step further and eliminating Liverpool would not be for those that know this team well.

Mike Walters: Liverpool

Liverpool winning the Champions League would be nice. A repeat of the 1981 European Cup final – Liverpool v Real Madrid, with the same outcome – would be even better.

If football is a celebration of scoring goals, and rewarding teams who set out to attack, Jurgen Klopp must be due a trophy soon.

And since Manchester City, my original pick, is no longer an option, on St George’s Day it would be immoral not to back the surviving English club left in the competition.

Who will win the Champions League?


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