Champions League: Final four teams battle for spot in final

The Champions League final is set for Saturday, May 28 at the San Siro.

The only thing left to do before then is to sort out which two teams will be playing.

Atletico Madrid will take a slender 1-0 lead to Germany for a date with Bayern Munich (today, 2:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) while Real Madrid will host Manchester City (Wednesday, 2:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 2) with their aggregate tally tied at 0-0.

Let’s have a look at the matchups:

Bayern Munich vs. Atletico Madrid

In and out: Franck Ribery could be back in the side, which might help offset the absence of Arjen Robben (hamstring) for Bayern Munich. Meanwhile, Diego Godin will be back in the lineup for the Spanish side after missing the first leg.

Man in the middle: Turkish referee Cüneyt Çakır will be in charge. You may remember him as the man who was the referee for last year’s Champions League final.

Last time out: A piece of individual brilliance by Saul powered Atletico to a hard-fought 1-0 victory last week:

They said it, part one: “We mustn’t think about how many goals we must score. We need think first about defending well and controlling the game. We want possession and we want goals. Atleti defend very well, but they are also going good up front. It is complicated to play a team like them. They know each other so very well. We will create chances, if perhaps not too many.” — Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola

They said it, part two: “We were sharp in the first leg and we will see how sharp we are tomorrow; and how sharp Bayern are. Every game is different. We want to win, that’s our plan. We want to play well and enjoy our success. But above all, what matters most is that we make the final.” — Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone

Analysis: It will be tough for the Spanish side to keep Bayern Munich off the score sheet in this one. The Germans had 74 percent possession and peppered the Atletico net with 20 shots in the first leg, and more of the same is coming today.

Still, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Munich only get a single goal and we see extra time to decide the tie.

Real Madrid vs. Manchester City

In and out: Cristiano Ronaldo will be back in the lineup for Madrid, but Karim Benzema (hamstring) is doubtful to play. David Silva (hamstring) and Yaya Toure (thigh) are injury worries for City.

Man in the middle: Slovenian referee Damir Skomina, who’s best known for officiating three matches at Euro 2012, will be in charge.

Last time out: The teams staged an insomnia-curing 0-0 draw in Manchester. There were only four shots on target in the match, leaving it all to play for on Wednesday.

They said it, part one: “It would be a mistake to think only based on those two and whether or not they play. I think a forward line of (Gareth) Bale with Isco or James Rodriguez would be extremely worrying. You have to prepare your team regardless of names and then put the finishing touches according to what you know.” — Manchester City manager Manuel Pelligrini

They said it, part two: “It is going to be very complex, more than the first leg because we know everything will be decided tomorrow. We are going to prepare as we always do, respecting the opponent. They have very good players, especially attacking players. I cannot say we are going to score two or three goals — that doesn’t exist in football. It is a totally different match but we are ready.

“We know we are going to be under pressure from minute one to 90 or more, and the important thing is we are ready for that.” — Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane

Analysis: City is going to regret not getting a goal or two while facing a Ronaldo-less Madrid last week. Keeper Joe Hart will likely be a busy man Wednesday, and it will take some heroics to keep the Spanish giants from scoring.

An away goal would be priceless for City, and any side with Sergio Aguero in it is always capable of finding the back of the net. Look for the English side to sit very deep and try to make something happen on the counter.

It will be tough for Manchester City to advance, but certainly not impossible.

About Randy Capps

South Carolina native, Fulham apologist, writer and sports fanatic.