The second and last UEFA Champions League semi-final comes from the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, with the two giants going head-to-head from 20:00 GMT. If you are lucky enough to have a ticket for this game, you’ll likely savour one of the most electric atmospheres the arena has ever witnessed. If you can’t get along to soak up the highs and lows of football at the highest level, you can make do with watching the play live on television. Are you excited yet?
Now and again, we see a meeting of two teams who, individually, look unbeatable. On Wednesday, we discover what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. Man City v Real Madrid is a game that could easily have been the final, and many followers expect the winner of this tie to lift the trophy next month. The winner of this game will meet Milan in the final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday 10th June. But will it be the Citizens or Blancos competing for glory?
These two famous clubs have met nine times in the past, and the head-to-head stats tell us to expect a competitive contest with the possibility of extra time and penalties. The nine games are equally split, with three wins for Man City, three for Real, and the other trio finishing level. The aggregate score stands at 1-1, meaning there is nothing between the rivals as they prepare for this season-defining challenge.
The hosts held their own in Spain
Manchester City faced the daunting task of travelling to the home of last year’s Spanish and Champions League winners. The English Premier League champions and former ECL finalists knew the size of the task ahead of them but entered with a plan to avoid defeat, score at least once and ensure the tie remained competitive ahead of this rematch. They left Madrid with a scoring draw and are now eager to finish the job.
The first game was a thrilling encounter with both teams finding the net and threatening to score a late winner. At the full-time whistle, the pair couldn’t be separated and that came as no major surprise as these sides are amongst the best in the world. The game in Spain was fierce but the managers used the opportunity to test the water to see what works and what doesn’t. The lessons learned in Madrid puts Man City in a strong position now they hold the home advantage and a win of any description sends them through to the final.
The Citizens enjoy an extended winning run in the EPL and are now back on top of the division after chasing down and eventually passing Arsenal. Pep Guardiola’s team chased down and eventually passed Arsenal, knocking the Gunners into second place and inching closer to a third league title on the bounce. They warmed up for this game by thrashing Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park on Sunday and fans want to see more of the same here.
Madrid won’t release the trophy easily
The stars of Real Madrid are out to shine at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening. They may have missed the chance to secure an advantage from the first leg in Madrid, but the holders remain in the hunt. This tie still has plenty of life left in the tank and anyone thinking the game is Man City’s to throw away are in for a shock. Madrid are coming to win and won’t release their grip on this competition without a fight.
The score is tied at 1-1, meaning the winner of this game will progress to the final. The scoreline doesn’t matter and it could be 1-0 or 7-0. This is a must-win game for both sides and the visitors will view this as the biggest game of their season. It’s looking increasingly likely that Barcelona will win La Liga, meaning Madrid has all its eggs in one basket. Losing the La Liga crown isn’t ideal, but losing the Champions League trophy could spell disaster.
Vinicius Junior scored the first goal of this tie when putting his team ahead inside 36 minutes of the first leg. Madrid and Junior had chances to add to their tally, but there was an air of tension around that game with Madrid and Man City lacking the composure needed in the final third to turn a draw into a win. It’s now all about which group of players will hold their nerve and progress to the decider in Turkey next month.
Man City v Real Madrid prediction
This game hangs in the balance and viewers are in for a treat. Man City are at home and will be cheered on by a capacity crowd which will help drive the players forward. But the locals lack experience of winning this trophy and that’s something Real Madrid has in abundance. Don’t write the Spaniards off just yet. If Blancos bring their best to England it could be enough to see them sneak through to another final.
Champions League odds
The pre-match betting odds offered by 22bet on this game has Man City priced at 1.595 for victory. If you’d prefer to support Real Madrid to win you’ll find 5.05 while the draw is 4.36.
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