CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR FOOTBALL PREVIEW Weds: Man City v Real Madrid

Last season’s Champions League semi-final between Manchester City and Real Madrid went down to the wire and we could see the same again here, as both sides are level after the first-leg at the Bernabeu last week.

City dominated the early stages but Thibaut Courtois proved too difficult to pass, with fine saves denying De Bruyne, Rodri and Erling Haaland before a rocket from Vinicius Junior with Real’s only chance before the break gave them a half-time lead.

Madrid were turning the pressure up in the second half before De Bryune scored his own screamer, finding the bottom corner from 25 yards with an incredible strike to leave the tie perfectly balanced.

Both sides should be happy with their first-leg result, a fair scoreline considering both managed to put pressure on the other side at points during the game, but City’s home record puts the hosts in the driving seat to reach the final.

City have won 23 of their last 26 Champions League games at the Etihad, including wins against Real Madrid (twice, including last year), PSG (twice), Bayern, and Dortmund to name just a few, and they’ve won their 15 at the Etihad, scoring at least two in 14 of those contests. Domestically, they’ve also beaten eight of the top nine in the Premier League at home, just to add to those impressive statistics.

Real Madrid cannot be written off – last season’s winners are *the* Champions League experts and they arrive here with great squad news, as with Eder Militao and Carvajal are back from bans and they managed to beat Getafe 1-0 at the weekend despite retaining just three of their starting XI from the first leg.

Manchester City v Real Madrid
UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg
City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester
20:00 BT Sport 1 HD / BT Sport Ultimate HD

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
MAY 2022 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Real Madrid 3-1 Manchester City (AET)
APR 2022 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Manchester City 4-3 Real Madrid
AUG 2020 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Manchester City 2-1 Real Madrid
FEB 2020 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Real Madrid 1-2 Manchester City
MAY 2016 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Real Madrid 1-0 Manchester City
APR 2016 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Manchester City 0-0 Real Madrid
NOV 2012 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Manchester City 1-1 Real Madrid
SEP 2012 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City

City have no squad concerns bar Nathan Ake, so we have two sides at the peak of their powers set to go head to head, and that suggests a close game between two of Europe’s heavyweights.

A price of 4/7 with starsports.bet or City to win in 90 minutes short despite their incredible home record, and 3/10 on them qualifying makes no appeal at all.

Both teams scored last week – and in both legs of last week’s semi-final – and even if this game is tighter than last season’s 4-3 thriller, both sides can create plenty of chances to score. Vinicius Junior has 7 goals in this season’s Champions League, including last week’s brilliant strike, and 3/1 about him finding the net makes appeal considering how hard he was able to push Kyle Walker on the left flank.

In terms of the match betting, it’s understandable that City are short, but Madrid have surely been overpriced given their individual quality and experience, and 20/21 about them with a goal start on the Asian handicap – where City would need to win by two goals or more for the bet to be a loser – looks too big here. Madrid have not lost a game by two goals or more in Europe since May 2021.

WILLIAM KEDJANYI


RECOMMENDED BETS
BACK Real Madrid +1 on Asian Handicap 2pts at 5/6 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Vinicius Junior To Score Anytime 1pt at 3/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


PROFIT/LOSS (MAY 2023): LOSS -11.61 points


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