- This Champions League encounter sees two cosmic outfits clash in a succulent affair as Real Madrid play host to Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu.
- City are still on track for the treble but will have to overcome a Real Madrid side who seem to always pull it out of the bag in Europe and are the current champions.
- The hosts head into this one on the back of another trophy win and will be aiming to try and complete a cup double this season.
Eder Militao is suspended for the hosts due to yellow card accumulation. That will likely see Antonio Rudiger come in to partner David Alaba at the back. Ferland Mendy is out due to injury and will likely be replaced by Eduardo Camavinga but Nacho Fernandez is also an option and could help offer a more solid choice in the defence.
There aren’t too many selection issues for Man City either but Nathan Ake is out since he has been dealing with an injury of late. He wasn’t able to complete the full 90 minutes against Leeds United at the weekend, but star defender Ruben Dias was fully rested and will be raring to go.
Champions League Form
City sailed past Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals, with their 3-0 victory at the Etihad putting the tie to bed pretty early on. It was always going to be tough for the German outfit to respond in the return leg and Pep Guardiola ensured his side didn’t allow any room for complacency as they saw out a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena to seal a 4-1 aggregate triumph.
Erling Haaland, Rodri and John Stones all starred in the first leg before the Norwegian sensation made up for his missed penalty kick in the second leg by putting his side a goal up soon after. Such a confident display against the calibre of Bayern will continue to feed City’s unwavering belief but Real Madrid is perhaps their biggest test in this year’s competition.
Possibly facing the easiest draw en route to the semi-finals, Real Madrid easily dispatched an out of form Liverpool in the round of 16 before comfortably knocking out a woeful Chelsea side in the quarter-finals with a 4-0 aggregate win.
Los Blancos only ever needed to go at half pace against the Blues as Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio and Rodrygo led the way over the two legs. That also made it three consecutive Champions League matches without conceding for Carlo Ancelotti’s side and his men will have to be at their defensive best if they are to hold off a City attack that can’t stop scoring.
UCL 22/23 Key Stats:
Goals For: Real Madrid 25, Man City 26
Goals Against: Real Madrid 8, Man City 4
Both Teams To Score %: Real Madrid 50%, Man City 40%
Over 2.5 Goals %: Real Madrid 50%, Man City 60%
City and Madrid played out an enchanting semi-final tie in last year’s competition as the Spanish outfit edged a 6-5 aggregate win. They kicked things off with a seven-goal thriller at the Etihad as City took a narrow advantage to the Bernabeu. After taking the lead in the Spanish capital, which looked like Pep was on his way to yet another European final, Real Madrid displayed their character in Europe once more to rescue the affair.
A late brace from Rodrygo clawed them back into the game right at the death before that man once again, Benzema, sent his side into the final in extra time. Hopefully we get similar drama this time around.
If we were to judge Real Madrid and City on their domestic performances this term, there would only be one clear winner in this European tie. Of course, that would be City. Ancelotti has struggled to get his side going in La Liga and they have even dropped to third behind city rivals Atletico Madrid, while it’s only a matter of time before Barcelona are crowned champions.
Having dropped points in a total of 12 games during the campaign, including an unexpected total of seven defeats in the league, it has been a season to forget in La Liga. However, they have lifted yet another trophy as they defeated Osasuna 2-1 in the Copa del Rey final last time out which will help boost their confidence and momentum ahead of the monumental clash here. Real Madrid always seem to get it done in Europe.
Pressure seems to have gotten the better of Arsenal in recent weeks and that has handed all the power back to Guardiola and City. The Manchester side have recorded ten consecutive victories in the Premier League which has seen them overtake the Gunners as they sit at the summit. City are ahead by just a point but do have a game in hand as well. Of course, a vital win by Arsenal at the weekend away to Newcastle United keeps the pressure on and City know they need to keep winning.
City are still going for the treble which would be some feat, equallying their neighbours and rivals Manchester United after their achievement back in 1999. With them fighting on all three fronts, the Citizens are dealing with potential fatigue so it will be interesting to see how Pep manages his players in the final few games of the season.
Prediction & Suggested Bets
Real Madrid 2-2 Manchester City @ 9/1 There should be plenty of goals on display on Tuesday night with both sides averaging over two goals a game in Europe this term. Both teams have scored in four out of City’s last five Premier League outings, while Real Madrid have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last four in La Liga.
Rodrygo To Score Or Assist @ 11/10 The Brazilian winger has been impressive of late and has scored three goals in his last three appearances. Having scored a brace at Stamford Bridge in the last Champions League outing, Rodrygo is in great form in Europe too and his speed, alongside Vinicius Jr. will cause the City defence problems.
Karim Benzema To Have 2+ Shots On Target @ 1/1 Benzema will be the main man up top, of course, and the 35-year-old is still producing the goods with an impressive 20 goal contributions in 21 league matches so far this term. He also registered a total of five shots on target over his last two Champions League appearances.
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