Manchester City vs Real Madrid Champions League Betting Preview & Predictions16.05.2023 12:01:47
- We’re all square as we head into a gigantic Champions League semi-final second leg as Manchester City host Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday
- Two of the greatest coaches we’ve ever seen will go head-to-head as Pep Guardiola takes on Carlo Ancelotti once more in an aperitive European battle
- The hosts will be hoping to progress in search of a potential treble this season, whilst the visitors are still on for a cup double
City are expected to be close to a fully fit squad to choose from with Nathan Ake being the only potential absentee. He has missed the last two matches due to a hamstring injury but he is back in training and in contention to feature here. Rodri picked up a knock in the win away at Everton at the weekend but it has been confirmed he will be ready to face Real Madrid on Wednesday.
As for the visitors, they should have a clean bill of health for this one after Ferland Mendy made his return to the team last Saturday. Eduardo Camavinga will likely continue at left-back, nonetheless, despite the 20-year-old picking up a knock last time out. David Alaba missed the Getafe fixture at the weekend due to a minor injury but he should also be in contention. Carlo Ancelotti will have to choose a centre-back pairing out of Alaba, Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao.
Champions League Form
A first leg that ultimately failed to deliver in its offensive hype pre-match, we now head into a second leg that has it all to play for. City and Madrid are tied at 1-1 as we enter the return leg in Manchester after what was a fairly even game at the Santiago Bernabeu overall. Vinicius Junior put Los Blancos ahead with a sensational strike in the first half, arguably against the run of play, before Kevin De Bruyne levelled the scoring with just over 20 minutes to go.
No one has managed to stifle Guardiola’s attack quite like Ancelotti was able to in the first leg last week and the Italian could be the only real man in the way right now to stop City from going on to win a famous treble. An xG of just 0.67 for the Citizens at the Bernabeu is the lowest they have managed throughout the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League competition.
This is Real Madrid’s third consecutive English opponent and they comfortably dispatched both Liverpool and Chelsea en route to reaching the last four. However, Liverpool have already proven that you can create chances against the Spanish outfit. The Reds raced away to a two-goal lead after just 14 minutes at Anfield, while City certainly have the quality to attack Real Madrid from the off this time around.
UCL 22/23 Key Stats:
Goals For: Man City 27, Real Madrid 26
Goals Against: Man City 5, Real Madrid 9
Both Teams To Score %: Man City 45%, Real Madrid 55%
Over 2.5 Goals %: Man City 55%, Real Madrid 45%
It is almost impossible to separate these two world class sides. That also rings true in terms of history between City and Real Madrid too. They both have three wins each over each other, whilst also drawing a total of three times. Not only will Wednesday’s clash decide who the better team is right now but that team will also take a step forward in the overall record.
City should have seen out the tie in last season’s semi-final after taking a two-goal lead but a miraculous turnaround by Real Madrid proved that their pedigree in the competition continues to prevail. They just know how to get it done. Both previous Champions League semi-final clashes between the two sides have resulted in Madrid reigning victorious, whilst City’s only knockout triumph over the Spanish outfit came in the round of 16 back in 2020.
After Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat at home to Brighton last Sunday, it seems all but over in their pursuit of the title. City showed no signs of complacency as they defeated Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park which looked like a potential banana skin before the match. Even with the likes of De Bruyne, John Stones and Jack Grealish all left on the bench, there were no signs of slowing down as they recorded their 11th consecutive victory in the Premier League.
Ultimately, it is the strength in depth that has made City so tough to beat. They have been able to rotate and keep their players fresh with very little detriment. With star man De Bruyne having completed the full 90 minutes just once in their last five league matches, they have turned to Ilkay Gundogan for additional attacking panache from the midfield. He has delivered too, scoring four goals in his last two outings in the division.
It has been a disappointing league campaign for Real Madrid this season and they have already conceded the La Liga title to rivals Barcelona with four games still to go. Barca have now been crowned champions for the first time since 2019. However, Los Blancos still managed to win the Copa del Rey this season and were able to pick up a 1-0 win at home to Getafe last weekend, despite resting a number of key players ahead of the match here.
Prediction & Suggested Bets
Manchester City 2-1 Real Madrid @ 13/2 It is an incredibly close one to call as two of Europe’s elite go head-to-head. This is the pinnacle of the game between two of the greatest coaches football has ever seen, coupled with world class talent littered throughout both teams. We’re going to back a narrow City win here, with home advantage just about taking them into the final.
Kevin De Bruyne To Have 2+ Shots On Target @ 11/4 The Belgian has been deployed in a more advanced role of late, almost partnering Erling Haaland up top in a free role. He should be full of life ahead of this one too since Pep has been managing his workload recently. De Bruyne also scored in the first leg and managed to have three shots on target so looks excellent value to get at least two here.
Eduardo Camavina To Be Booked @ 11/8 The Frenchman has been used at left-back of late and should start there again on Wednesday. The occasion may impact the 20-year-old a little and he has been picking up plenty of bookings of late - four in his last four appearances. That also included a yellow in the first leg where he also gave away two fouls.
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