Champions League Bets & Preview:
Real Madrid v Manchester City
Manchester City travel to Madrid to face Real Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final clash. This fixture brings together two of the biggest teams in European football, who also faced off at the same stage of the competition last season in extraordinary circumstances:
Real Madrid are the defending champions of the UCL, having won the competition four times in the last six seasons. They will be looking to secure a third consecutive final appearance, and a 15th overall title. However, their recent form has been mixed, with two wins and two losses in their last four matches in all competitions.
Despite their indifferent form, Real Madrid come into this match on the back of a 2-1 victory over Osasuna in the Copa del Rey final. They will be buoyed by the fact that they have won 13 of their last 16 European home games, with just one draw and two losses in that run.
Manchester City, on the other hand, are still searching for their first UCL title. They have been one of the most consistent teams in Europe in recent years, winning the Premier League three times in the last four seasons. They come into this match after a narrow 2-1 victory over Leeds in the Premier League.
Manchester City have been eliminated by Real Madrid in two of their last three semi-final appearances in the UCL. They will be hoping to overcome their psychological obstacles and make it to the final this time around. Manager Pep Guardiola has won the competition twice before, but has seen his side eliminated at the semi-final stage in six of his last nine UCL campaigns.
As ever, Vinícius Júnior for Real Madrid and Erling Haaland for Manchester City are the players to keep an eye on. Vinícius Júnior has been Real Madrid’s star Champions League man, 11 goal contributions in 10 apps this UCL campaign. Haaland, similarly, has been in scintillating form this season, scoring a huge 12 goals in just in 8(!) appearances.
Manchester City’s recent UCL away form has seen them draw their last four matches on the road. They will be hoping to break that streak and secure a positive result at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of this tie. This promises to be a real heavyweight clash between two of the biggest clubs in Europe and two of the biggest managers in Europe. Whoever wins over the two legs, will be strong favourites to win the final.