In a semifinal fit for a final, it's Manchester City vs. Real Madrid Tuesday in Champions League play. The first leg is nearly here as both teams battle it out for a spot in the June 10 final. Next week, it will be time for the second leg, but here is an opportunity in a semifinal rematch for either team to get a leg up. Of course, City got a leg up last season only to cave in late at the Santiago Bernabeu. But things are different now, especially with the addition of superstar striker Erling Haaland, making this one of the most intriguing semifinals we've seen in a long, long time.
Paramount+ is your home for all-things UCL. We've got all the pregame and postgame coverage you need plus make sure to check out CBS Sports Golazo Network for tactical cams. Here's what you need to know about the games, our expert picks and more:
Golazo Starting XI Newsletter
Get your Soccer Fix from Around the Globe
Your ultimate guide to the Beautiful Game as our experts take you beyond the pitch and around the globe with news that matters.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Tuesday's broadcast schedule
- UEFA Champions League Today, 2 p.m., Paramount+ and CBS
- Manchester City vs. Real Madrid, 3 p.m., Paramount+ and CBS
- Tactical Cam: Manchester City vs. Real Madrid, 3 p.m., CBS Sports Golazo Network
- UEFA Champions League Post-Match Show, 5 p.m., Paramount+ and CBS Sprots Netework
Wednesday's broadcast schedule
- UEFA Champions League Today, 2 p.m., Paramount+ and CBS
- Milan vs. Inter, 3 p.m., Paramount+ and CBS
- Tactical Cam: Milan vs. Inter, 3 p.m., CBS Sports Golazo Network
- UEFA Champions League Post-Match Show, 5 p.m., Paramount+ and CBS Sports Network
Real Madrid vs. Manchester City picks
By Chuck Booth
One player to watch: Rodrygo. All of the pressure will be on Karim Benzema and for good reason as he has been Mr. Champions League but with City's strength in central defense that will require other members of the squad to step up putting all eyes on Rodrygo. He couldn't have picked a better time to bag a brace than the Copa Del Rey final on Saturday because he'll be needed to attack the wings and make things happen in the match.
Underrated X-factor: Aurelien Tchouameni. Luka Modric is just returning from injury and while he may start the game it's unlikely to see Modric go more than 60 minutes which is where Tchouameni comes in. He started off hot for Real Madrid before getting injured and has struggled to impact games lately. With the talent and passing range to dominate the midfield, this is the game where Tchouameni could have his Galactico moment. City already has so many things to account for in this Los Blancos side that Tchouameni can go under the radar and make things happen.
CBS Sports has a brand new daily soccer podcast, covering everything you need to know about the beautiful game. Make sure to give House of Champions a follow for coverage of the biggest games, stories, transfer news with Fabrizio Romano, and everything else going on in the world's most popular sport.
Biggest reason they'll win: An unstoppable attack. Looking at Real Madrid, it doesn't get much better than Vinicus Jr., Karim Benzema, and Rodrygo. The trio can score on anyone and no matter what City does, they can even come back. If the game turns into a track meet, that favors Real Madrid and could be a way that they end up advancing to the Champions League final.
Biggest reason they'll lose: The absence of Eder Militao. Real Madrid are in shambles defensively without Ferland Mendy and Militao and they'll need to find a way to stop Erling Haaland. On a good day that's easier said than done but without your top defenders, it can be an impossible task. If Real Madrid goes behind early and needs to open up to chance the game, things could get lopsided putting them in a hole that can't be overcome in the home leg.
By James Benge
One player to watch: You'd do well to miss the hulking presence at the tip of City's attack anyway but this tie will almost certainly be defined by Erling Haaland. Pep Guardiola has adapted one of the most devastating teams in world football to exploit the qualities of one particular football and that approach has been emphatically vindicated with a season in which he has set about breaking almost every scoring record England has. He did not score in his previous meeting with Real Madrid. One suspects that won't last.
Underrated X-factor: Madrid's greatest threat could well come down the flanks through Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo. One suspects City will not fear that too much, so strong have their full backs been defensively so far this season. The return to contention of Kyle Walker gives the visitors a player with the straight line pace and nous to cope with Vinicius as well as any other whilst on the other flank Nathan Ake seems to be relishing his role as defensive stopper.
Biggest reason they'll win: Simply put, they are the best team in Europe. City can beat you any way they need to, not just with the intricate build up play of years gone by but by hitting the big man Haaland who provides knockdowns for runners beyond him. They can play through, round or over your defense and look to be a pretty miserly backline at the other end of the pitch. If Guardiola's men are on song, there simply might be nothing Madrid can do to beat them.
Biggest reason they'll lose: It's the Champions League. Mad stuff happens. And it tends to happen to Manchester City quite frequently. Oh and Madrid tend to be the ones who do it to other teams (see those two added time goals by Rodrygo in last year's semifinal). Over a 38 game season few can stop City. Over two games? You never know.
City are a superior side, blessed with plentiful methods through which to beat Madrid. This is the Champions League and as such crazy things can happen but I wouldn't bank on it. PICK: Real Madrid 0, Manchester City 2
AC Milan vs. Inter Milan picks
By Jonathan Johnsosn
One player to watch: Rafael Leao has been one of the stars of this European season and the Portugal international is very much a key figure for Milan. A dazzling assist to tee up Olivier Giroud for the goal which helped the Rossoneri to reach this stage was nothing short of brilliant and the 23-year-old's electric pace makes him a tricky customer for even the most experienced defenders. If Stefano Pioli's men play to his strengths, Inter will know all about the damage that he can do having scored twice and assisted another in a 3-2 derby win earlier this campaign.
Underrated X-factor: Although Milan are technically the "home" side in this opening leg, both games will play out at their San Siro home with differing levels of Diavolo support in the crowd. It makes the "away" leg less daunting and should aid greater consistency across both legs. The sight of Champions League semifinals returning to Milan after a lengthy absence promises to be a sight to behold for any soccer neutral out there.
Biggest reason they'll win: Mike Maignan is as decisive as they come between the sticks and although Inter boast Andre Onana in the opposite goal, the French shot stopper is arguably one of the best in the game right now. The 27-year-old has superb reflexes and is an expert when it comes to keeping penalties out too -- top quality goalkeeper can win these games for teams and Maignan is one of the very best right now. In a tie which promises to be tight across both legs, the ex-Lille and PSG man could swing the tie in Milan's favor.
Biggest reason they'll lose: Milan's season is riding on these two games and that puts a lot of pressure on the seven-time European kings. Win and advance to the final and the Rossoneri will be delighted with the achievement, but a loss to their bitter rivals given their wobbly form in Serie A and Europe could be gone for next campaign. Stefano Pioli and his players have 180 minutes to potentially give themselves a shot at glory and possibly continental soccer for next term too. Their 2022 Scudetto suddenly feels a long way in the past.
By Francesco Porzio
One player to watch: Andre Onana is one of the players to watch in the Derby della Madonnina's semifinal as the goalkeeper has been a crucial player for Simone Inzaghi's team during the current Champions League's campaign. The former Ajax player arrived at the Italian club last summer as a free agent and soon became a starter after Inter's captain Samir Handanovic lost his starting role after some crucial mistakes at the beginning of the season.
Underrated X-factor: Compared to their city rivals, Inter have a deeper squad. In fact, Simone Inzaghi can now finally count on the full roster apart from defender Milan Skriniar, who is still recovering from a back injury and he's set to miss the end of the season, before joining PSG as a free agent in the summer. For the first time this year, Inter's four strikers are all fit and Inzaghi can rotate them during the game.
Biggest reason they'll win: Inter are in much better form right now compared to AC Milan and have won their last five games in a row, including the last four Serie A matches (including two wins against Lazio and Roma) and qualified for the Coppa Italia final that will be played at the end of the month against Fiorentina. Inter's squad is deeper and Inzaghi can count on all the players for the final stint of the 2022-23 season.
Biggest reason they'll lose: The Derby della Madonnina is unpredictable and AC Milan showed this year that they perform better in the Champions League compared to the Italian league. In the quarterfinals, the Rossoneri knocked out Napoli during the two legs despite the fact the team coached by Luciano Spalletti dominated Serie A this year. Portuguese winger Rafael Leao should be fit to play and after picking up a muscular injury against Lazio last Saturday, and he's definitely the most talented player among the two sides.
It will definitely be a tense game, but as happened in 2003 when these two sides met in the Champions League semifinals they will be extra careful to not concede goals in the first game. Pick: AC Milan 0, Inter 0. -- Francesco Porzio