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Man City v Real Madrid – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Man City face Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg.

Straight Wins Football Betting

Man City face Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg. The hosts reached this stage with ease by beating Sporting Lisbon 5-0 on aggregate. Los Blancos won 5-4 on aggregate against Chelsea in the last round despite conceding 48 shots over two legs. Pep Guardiola is searching for his first “cup with the big ears” since 2011.

Man City Form

City have lost just twice in 25 matches in all competitions. Their last 10 matches in all competitions have brought five wins, four draws and one defeat yet the context for those results is key. Guardiola’s side drew Champions League second legs 0-0 at home to Sporting Lisbon and away at Atletico Madrid when already leading on aggregate.

Two matches against Liverpool brought a 2-2 home league draw, having led twice, and a 3-2 FA Cup defeat with City missing several of their top defenders. City have bounced back from a three-match winless run by beating Brighton 3-0 at home and thrashing Watford 5-1 last time out. Gabriel Jesus bagged four goals in that most recent win.

Man City Team News

Ruben Dias returned to the starting XI against Watford and is now fully fit to start this match. Aymeric Laporte is expected to be his partner. Kyle Walker and John Stones are doubtful but the former is more likely to be pushed straight into the XI to deal with Vinicius Jr. If Walker is out, then it’s a huge issue as Joao Cancelo is suspended. Guardiola may need to use Stones and Nathan Ake as narrow fullbacks in a back four.

Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva were given no minutes against Watford and both should be fresh to start this match. Gabriel Jesus will surely keep his place after a four-goal haul last time out. Ilkay Gundogan, Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez are all expected to drop down to the bench for this match.

Man City Motivation

Full focus and attention is on this match for City. Winning this trophy is the top priority and they would arguably sacrifice the Premier League title to do it.

Guardiola rested a couple of attackers in the last match and will want a high-energy display against Los Blancos, similar to what Chelsea delivered in Spain a couple of weeks ago. Anything less than a first leg win would be seen as a disappointing result.

Real Madrid Form

Ancelotti’s team have seen ten wins in their last 13 matches since the timid 1-0 away loss at PSG in the round of 16 first leg. After turning that tie around with a 3-1 home win, they were beaten 4-0 at home by Barcelona two matches later.

Madrid’s up-and-down results and performances, often within the same match continued with a 3-1 at Stamford Bridge only to find themselves 3-0 down at home in the second leg. They mustered a strong response to score twice to progress to the semis despite an overall poor display. Since that tie, they have won 3-2 at Sevilla having trailed 2-0 and then won 3-1 at Osasuna over the weekend.

Atletico Team News

Eder Militao returns in defence in this competition having missed the Chelsea second leg through suspension. Marcelo and Ferland Mendy have both been named in the squad as left-back options after recent injuries.

Eden Hazard remains absent for this match. Carlo Ancelotti is expected to choose between Fede Valverde and Rodrygo on the right-wing with the former more likely to get the nod. Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Vinicius Jr. all enjoyed full or partial rests this weekend in La Liga.

Atletico Motivation

Los Blancos need just one point to secure the La Liga title with five matches left to play. All focus and attention can therefore be placed here as they look to lift yet another Champions League crown.

Ancelotti will set up in quite a circumspect way, leaving many men behind the ball both when defending and when building up. A huge onus will fall on Benzema and Vinicius in attack. They would take a draw here or maybe even a one goal defeat with faith they can turn things around at the Bernabeu.

Key Stats

City have lost just 2 of their last 26 matches (all comps)

Man City have won 10 of their last 11 home CL matches

Madrid have won 10 of their last 13 matches

Real Madrid have won 4 of their last 5 away CL matches

Real Madrid have conceded in 9 of their last 11 matches (all comps)

Real’s Benzema has scored 16 goals in his last 12 matches


This should be a very good match. Madrid are capable of pulling wins out of the hat even when not performing well. City are certainly favourites and will take heart from seeing Chelsea dominate Madrid in Spain and produce 48 shots over two legs.

Best Bet: Man City win and over 2.5 goals at 2.20

Value Bet: Man City win and both teams to score at 3.05

Correct Score Tip: Man City 3-1 Real Madrid at 10.25

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James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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