Just how amazing was the Champions League quarterfinal round? The revamped UCL format featuring one-off knockouts brought us an unprecedented level of drama and excitement in every single one of the last eight matches.
The round kicked off with minnows Atalanta taking control against French giants PSG only to suffer the heartbreak of conceding twice in the last five minutes.
We saw unfancied RB Leipzig and Lyon pull off stunning upsets against tournament favorites Atletico Madrid and Manchester City respectively. Last but not least, we saw Bayern Munich rattle the football world with their annihilation of Barcelona in a devastating 8-2 win.
The one-off matches have been an unmitigated success so far, swapping the tactical and strategic shenanigans of home and away legs for 90 mins of winner-take-all action. Despite the absence of fans in empty stadiums at the neutral Lisbon venue, it has brought the heart, drama and anxiety probably only seen in World Cup knockout games.
Indeed, the semi-finals promise more of the same as football fans await with baited breath.
Here are the two fixtures for the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final round:
Wednesday 18 August, 21:00 CET
RB Leipzig vs PSG, Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica
Thursday 19 August, 21:00 CET
Lyon vs Bayern Munich, Estádio José Alvalade
And here are your Player Picks for the semis:
Sergio Rico (PSG)
The Spanish goalkeeper will deputize for the injured Keylor Navas and offers an affordable route into the PSG back line.
Peter Gulasci (RB Leipzig)
The Hungarian shot stopper will certainly have his work cut out for him against a fearsome PSG strikeforce, but he has proven to be up to the task. Save points are on offer, and his 4.2 price tag makes him a surety for our lineups.
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Germany’s #1 will hold the fort for a Bayern side that has established itself as the favorite for the title. Lyon will do well to repeat their quarterfinal feat against a rampant Munich team.
Angelino (RB Leipzig)
The Spanish full back exhibited his full array of attacking qualities with a sterling performance against Atletico Madrid — capping it off with an assist from one of his trademark crosses.
Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
The German enigma is a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the pitch. Steady, reliable and efficient, he embodies everything good about this Bayern Munich team.
The Brazilian back come defensive mid is the pivot man in the PSG team and also offers a threat on set pieces.
Not to be confused with his Real Madrid namesake, the Lyon defender turned in a solid performance against Manchester City and will need to do the same against Bayern.
Ivan Perisic (Bayern Munich)
The Croatian winger clearly saved his best football of the season for last. Preferred to Kingsley Coman since the UCL restart, he has grabbed the opportunity with both hands and against Lyon will look to pick up where he left off.
Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich)
Two goals against Barcelona showed just how dangerous the veteran German front man can be sitting in the pocket behind Lewandowski.
Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig)
The Spanish midfielder will pull the strings in midfield for Julian Nagelsmann’s men and is the strongest attacking threat available against PSG.
Houssam Aouar (Lyon)
The silky smooth attacking midfielder was easily the best player on the pitch for Rudi Garcia’s men in their semi-final victory over Manchester City.
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
The Polish striker scored a merciless double against Chelsea in the Round of 16 2nd leg and will look to do the same against Barca as he chases the goalscoring record.
Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
The dynamo French winger — only fit enough for the bench against Atalanta — came on in the second half to turn the game. He’s set to go for the start here and will look to torment the Leipzig back line.
Moussa Dembele (Lyon)
His second half introduction against Manchester City probably ranks as the substitution of the season. Two second-half goals won it for Lyon and may have won him a starting spot for the semi final.
Have you made your transfers for the Semifinal round of matches?? Whom do you think will qualify for the Final? Do you still have chips to play, or have you used them all? Please let us know in the comments.