Verdict: A goal to be scored in both halves
Best Odds: 3/5
With a spot in the final of this season’s Champions League still firmly hanging in the balance, Manchester City will make the trip to the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday night.
Starting with the hosts, claiming yet another La Liga crown with a stunning display last weekend, there is no doubt that the mood in Real Madrid’s camp should be at a red-hot high. While Los Blancos might have eventually fallen to that remarkable 4-3 first-leg defeat at the Etihad last week, Carlo Ancelotti’s men have continued to shine this season. Storming their way to a 4-0 romp against Espanyol a few days ago, the one-time Everton boss has seen his side win six of their previous eight matchups across all formats. Doing a stellar job in Manchester last week as they showed plenty of resolve, the newly-crowned Spanish champions also have one attacking talisman enjoying a famous campaign. Once again finding the net against Espanyol last weekend, Karim Benzema has also racked up 14 Champions League strikes in just his 10 appearances in this season’s tournament. Forming an eye-catching partnership with Vinicius Junior, Real Madrid should still be confident of completing the turnaround on Wednesday night.
Limping off at the Etihad last week after only just recovering from an injury issue, David Alaba is likely to miss out on Wednesday night.
Likewise, Real Madrid will also be without the trio of Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale and Luka Jovic here.
As for the visitors, while Real Madrid might have picked up their own thumping victory a few days ago, Manchester City laid down a marker on the road. Eventually claiming a thumping 4-0 win against relegation scrappers Leeds, Pep Guardiola’s side still have their sights firmly set on clinching a domestic and European double this season. Still holding a one-point buffer at the top of the Premier League table, the former Barcelona boss will simply be calling on his side to finish off the job here. While they might have been disappointed to have only collected that 4-3 victory against Los Blancos last week, the Sky Blues are enjoying quite the free-scoring run. Along with winning each of their four matchups across all formats, it should be noted that Manchester City have scored 16 goals on their recent purple patch. With the red-hot Gabriel Jesus only continuing on his own stellar run after now racking up six strikes in just his last three appearances, Guardiola’s men will be looking to lay down another marker here.
Given a full rest away at Leeds last weekend, Belgium international Kevin De Bruyne will make his return to Guardiola’s starting XI here.
However, while Kyle Walker looks set to once again miss out in Madrid, Joao Cancelo looks set to return after missing the first-leg due to suspension.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides faced off in the first-leg last week, Manchester City picked up a stunning 4-3 victory at the Etihad.
- Karim Benzema has recorded 14 Champions League goals in just his 10 appearances in this season’s tournament.
- Likewise, Gabriel Jesus has bagged six goals in just his last three matchups across all formats.
- Manchester City have scored 16 goals in their last four consecutive victories.
- Los Blancos have won six of their last eight contests across all formats.
After playing out that stunning seven-goal thriller at the Etihad last week, neutrals from across Europe will be hoping for a repeat on Wednesday night. With a spot in the final of this season’s Champions League still firmly hanging in the balance, Manchester City will simply be hoping to complete the job on foreign soil. Eventually claiming that 4-3 win on home soil last week, Guardiola’s men are enjoying quite the free-scoring run over the past month. Likewise, with both Karim Benzema and Gabriel Jesus in the midst of their own purple patches in front of goal, chances could come thick and fast here. Given their remarkable first-leg meeting in Manchester, we’re once again backing another lively affair in the Spanish capital.
Verdict: A goal to be score in both halves
Best Odds: 3/5
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Real Madrid 3-1