This Friday at Nyon (13:00 hours) the balls of the Champions will give their last dance in the last draw of the season. The procedure is very simple: a ball will be taken with the name of one of the four semifinalists and this one will face the one that comes out in second place. That will be the first eliminator. The second crossing will be between the other two teams that remain. To determine the going and the return, the extraction order is counted. There is no conditioner. Everyone can face each other.
The team of Jürgen Klopp has come by surprise to the semifinals. No one believed they were going to do it. They are third in the Premier League and, in theory, were inferior to Manchester City. However, they gave the bell in Anfield with a win (3-0) and won the Etihad Stadium (1-2). With controversy, yes, but it does not matter. Mateu Lahoz annulled a legal goal to Sané for possible offside and expelled Guardiola at halftime for protesting. On the way back to the changing rooms, the reds scored two goals and certified their qualification for the semifinals.
Before, Liverpool had been making a very regular Champions League. He qualified as first of his group after drawing with Sevilla in Anfield (2-2) and in Sánchez Pizjuán (3-3) and eliminated Porto in the round of 16 (0-5 in the total of the tie). With these results, he faced the leader of the Premier League, at Manchester City and gave the surprise. Now, once ranked among the top four in Europe, he believes he can win the Champions .
Especially when they have one of the most fit players in Europe, Salah . The Egyptian, who has 39 goals this season (eight of them in the Champions League), rivals Messi for winning the Golden Boot and has been the greatest exponent of the team of ] Klopp in the tie against Manchester City. To all this, we must add that in the Premier League, has to throw to be among the first four. That is, it will be able to focus on the Champions as of now.
The set of Jupp Heynckes is the other big favorite – on the margin of Madrid – to take the Champions League and the only team that can aspire to the triplet of the four semifinalists. Bayern however, is not facing its best season. He qualified to eighth after finishing second in the group – the first was PSG with which he lost in Paris (3-0) and which he won in Munich (1 -3) – already fourth after passing over Besiktas (8-1 in the total of the tie).
In the quarterfinals, eliminated Sevilla, although with many problems. The German team won in Sánchez Pizjuán with two goals in own door of Jesús Navas and Escudero (1-2) and tied in the Allianz Arena (0-0) ). He qualified to the semifinals, but without shining or giving a feeling of superiority. With Lewandowski missing (he did not score in either match) and two old rockers opening the field, Robben and Ribéry.
Even so, by hierarchy, coach and history is one of the favorites. In addition, it is reliable. It arrives to semifinals after gaining the Bundesliga and with the possibility of conquering the triplet. He already did with Heynckes before they passed by Guardiola and Ancelotti, and will try to repeat in 2018, when Jupp is retired. And it will do it with an experienced team. Many of its players already know what it is to lift the Champions (Javi Martínez, Rafinha, Robben, Ribéry …) and that is something to take into account.
It is, without a doubt, the weakest team of the four who are in the semifinals. They are in the quarterfinals by the great comeback to Barcelona in a match, however, in which a little that the Catalan team would have done would have qualified. The Rome took advantage of the confidence and pasotism culé, although that does not take away any merit to one of the great comebacks and feats of the history of the Champions League (3-0).
His danger is based on two pillars, a sports one and another that goes beyond football. The first, in players like Dzeko reference in attack with six goals so far (two of them at Barcelona ), the veteran and rocky De Rossi, of Rome and heir of Totti in the captaincy, the controversial Nainggolan or the goalkeeper Alisson holder with Brazil . His best players are (very) below the stars of the other three teams.
On the bench Di Francesco, a bet (another more successful) of 'Monchi'. Still young (48 years old), Rome signed him this last summer after a spectacular job at Sassuolo a humble team he promoted for the first time in his history to Serie A and it even took him to Europa League.
In what is not football, and often as important as the other, the illusion. It is the first time that Roma will play a semifinals of the Champions (the last, with the previous name and format, was in 1984) and is the only one of the four that has ever won a Cup of Europe. Undoubtedly he is the least favorite, which makes him compete on the basis that a defeat would be the most logical. And that is the danger. A cover with much to gain and nothing to lose.