The UEFA Champions League will have its semifinal ties drawn early Friday, and as usual there are some juicy potential subplots to go with the main story line: Getting to a UCL Final.
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There are varying degrees of experience in finals for these four historic clubs.
— Real Madrid is vying to increase its all-time high of titles to 13, and become the first club to win three-straight finals since Bayern Munich from 1973-76 (which came after Ajax won three in-a-row).
— Bayern Munich is 5-5 all-time in finals, last winning in 2013’s Der Klassiker final.
— Liverpool has played in seven European Cup finals, winning five, but last earned a finalist’s spot in a 2007 loss to AC Milan.
— Roma hasn’t played for a European Cup final since a 1984 home loss to Liverpool, its lone appearance in the final.
There are six final pairings possible amongst the semifinalists, and we’re power rankings the least to most appealing in this post.
6. Bayern Munich vs. Roma — If only because this is one of two matches, statistically speaking, that would give the highest probability of a blowout.
5. Real Madrid vs. Roma — Same as above but with Cristiano Ronaldo and Real angling for a third-straight title.
4. Real Madrid vs. Liverpool — Two teams whose defending can be suspect and attacks are often lightning in respective bottles.
3. Liverpool vs. Roma — Would be an all-underdog tie with a guaranteed first winner in more than a decade (or ever in the case of i Lupi). Plus, the idea of Mohamed Salah going up against his old mates is pretty juicy. American-owned clubs, to boot.
2. Bayern Munich vs. Liverpool — Jurgen Klopp gets a chance at UCL final revenge from the 2013 loss at Wembley.
- Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid — James Rodriguez meets his parent club. Arjen Robben his former club, and Toni Kroos the same. There were questions of how Bayern would respond to the retirements of Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso.