Real MadridChampions LeagueVS
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With a place in the Champions League Final on the line, Man City host Real Madrid in a powerhouse clash in the first leg of their semi-final tie at the Etihad.
Both sides have shown their class and experience to get this far, overcoming some difficult moments but ultimately prevailing to edge closer to winning a major piece of silverware this season.
For those expecting a cagey meeting between the two teams ahead of the return leg in the Spanish capital, the draw is at 10/3 (888sport) , and so it remains to be seen whether or not these two sides can be split on the night.
Continue reading for our expert football betting tips for the clash.
Man City have been strong at home in the Champions League this year, winning all three games at the Etihad in the group stage followed by a goalless draw with Sporting and a narrow 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the last round.
They’ll be hoping to repeat that outcome this time round against the other half of Madrid, but as we’ve seen time and time again from Carlo Ancelotti’s side, they deliver in big moments with the world-class individuals at his disposal.
With that in mind, while City will know the importance of winning at home and taking an advantage with them to the Bernabeu, Real Madrid have the quality in their line-up to grab a goal on the night and set things up nicely for the second leg.
As noted above, City are unbeaten in the Champions League at home this season, while they scored 12 goals in their three home games in the group stage.
With the tie with Sporting effectively over for the return leg as they led 5-0 on aggregate, they didn’t need to go looking for a win in that one, while they got the better of a stubborn Atletico Madrid side earlier this month.
It’s been by committee in terms of their potency in attack, with Riyad Mahrez bagging six goals and one assist, while Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus have chipped in with three goals apiece and three assists between them.
After their shock home defeat to Sheriff on Matchday 2, Real Madrid have shown their class in this competition once again as they have seemingly found an answer for every situation.
Los Blancos rattled off four consecutive wins after that loss to advance comfortably, before they saw off Paris Saint-Germain in the first knockout round. While they lost the first leg away, they bounced back with a stunning comeback 3-1 win at home.
They did it in reverse against Chelsea in the last round, as after a brilliant 3-1 win in west London, they suffered defeat at home but another stirring comeback ensured that they still prevailed.
Karim Benzema has been their star man with 12 goals and one assist in just nine appearances, and with the Frenchman equally as lethal in La Liga, he will be the main threat for the visitors.
City have had the better of their rivals in recent times, winning the last three consecutive meetings including a 2-1 win at the Etihad in 2020.
In eight previous encounters, there has only been one goalless draw, and the expectation is that it will remain that way with City edging it.
The Etihad Stadium holds 55,000 and while it does have its critics in terms of atmosphere, the City faithful will no doubt turn out in big numbers for this showdown.
With what’s at stake and the quality on show, this promises to be a thrilling game with plenty of twists and turns, and so the influence of the home crowd and their ability to push the players on could prove to be key on the night.
There’s goals in this game as the creative quality in attack that both teams possess means that they will both create opportunities to score, and importantly they have a cutting edge in front of goal to match it.