The CL's semifinals second leg

April, 23, 2012

The second leg of the Champions League semifinals begins Tuesday, so let's take a look at each team's chances of advancing to Munich for this year's final. Using ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI), we calculated the offensive and defensive ratings of each team and then matched them to determine their odds of advancing. Here's a look at both semifinal matches.

Barcelona vs Chelsea
(Chelsea leads 1-0)

Projections for advancing: Barcelona 60.6 percent; Chelsea 39.4 percent

Although Chelsea carries the advantage into the second leg, Barcelona is still the favorite due to its superior offensive rating, as SPI projects the reigning champions to score an average of 2.6 goals in the second leg. Barcelona also benefits from having the second leg at home, where it is unbeaten in 15 straight European home fixtures since October 2009 (13-0-2) and has outscored opponents 18-4 this season.

Chelsea has struggled away from home both in the Champions League and Premier League play, recording only one win in five matches in the Champions League and only six wins from 18 away matches in domestic competition. Also, as the least potent offensive team of the four semifinalists according to SPI, Chelsea is projected to be held without a goal in nearly half of all simulations (48.9 percent).

It's not all bad news for Chelsea considering its recent history at the Camp Nou. In its last three trips to Barcelona, Chelsea has earned a draw, which would be good enough to earn the Blues a spot in Munich for the Champions League final.

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich
(Bayern Munich leads 2-1)

Projections for advancing: Real Madrid 56.8 percent; Bayern Munich 43.2 percent

Jose Mourinho led Inter Milan into the Santiago Bernabéu in the 2010 Champions League final and defeated Bayern Munich 2-0. Now leading Real Madrid, SPI projects Mourinho's side to emerge victorious again as the current La Liga leaders are the favorite to advance to this year's final despite a 2-1 loss in the first leg.

Real Madrid has the second best offensive rating among the remaining semifinalists and is projected to score an average of 2.2 goals in the second leg of this semifinal. Real has been a potent goal scoring side at home in this year's competition, scoring 22 goals in its five home fixtures, all victories. Eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo in Wednesday's fixture, as five of his team-leading eight goals in this year's competition have come at home, but Bayern limited him to only one shot on target from three attempts in the first leg.

Bayern's Mario Gomez is the competition's second-leading scorer with 12 goals, but only one of those goals have come in away matches as Bayern has scored only five goals in five away fixtures compared to 19 goals in six home matches. Bayern is projected to be held without a goal in 39.0 percent of simulations of Wednesday's second leg.



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