The Rundown

Nine fascinating subplots to the Champions League semi-finals

The Rundown

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With the Champions League semi-final draw made on Friday afternoon, we take a look at the intriguing subplots behind the two huge ties.

Real Madrid take on Borussia Dortmund, while Barcelona face Bayern Munich, but the fact that an all-Spanish or all-German final could await at Wembley on May 25 is not interesting enough to make our list.

1) GUARDIOLA LURKING IN THE BACKGROUND - The Barcelona v Bayern tie will pit Pep Guardiola's past and future clubs against each other. Pep lifted 14 trophies while in charge of the Catalan giants. He takes over at the Bavarian club in the summer.

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2) FAVOURITES BUT WITHOUT FORM - Real Madrid go in as favourites for their tie against Dortmund, but they only took a single point from their two group stage meetings with Jurgen Klopp's side earlier this season.

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3) SEMI-FINAL DROUGHTS - Dortmund will be appearing at the semi-final stage of the Champions League for the first time in 15 years. The German club won the tournament back in 1996-97, beating Juventus 3-1 in the final.

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4) RECORD BREAKERS - Barcelona are making a record sixth successive semi-final appearance in the competition. During those years, the Catalan club lifted the trophy in 2011 and 2009. Meanwhile, Madrid are semi-finalists for a record 24th time. The nine-time champions are also in the final four for the third successive season.

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5) MONEY MATTERS - Spain's EU bailout has left tensions high between the country and Germany, whose chancellor Angela Merkel follows Bayern's progress in the competition avidly. This year British Prime Minister David Cameron will have nothing to celebrate, thankfully.

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6) GOOD IN RECENT SEMIS, BAD IN FINALS - Bayern, who lost last season's final on their own ground to Chelsea, will bid to make their second consecutive final at Wembley on May 25. They have been runners-up in two of the last three seasons.

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7) RACE FOR THE GOLDEN BOOT - Cristiano Ronaldo leads the way going into the last-four clashes with 11 goals already racked up. Lionel Messi is just three behind with eight, while Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski would have to really fire with six on the board so far. Thomas Mueller has five as Bayern's top scorer.

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8) BARCA'S WEMBLEY LOVE AFFAIR - Barcelona have won two of their four European Cup trophies at Wembley - in 1992 and more recently against Manchester United in 2011.

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9) POTENTIAL FOR BIGGEST CLASICO - Real Madrid and Barcelona have shared some memorable and dramatic - yes, and explosive - Clasico clashes over the years, but the two Spanish giants have yet to meet in the final of Europe's biggest club competition.

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Have you spotted an interesting subplot that we have missed? Post your comments below...

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