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Manchester City v Real Madrid
It’s time for the second leg of the blockbuster Champions League tie between Manchester City and Real Madrid, meaning it’s time to make some more Manchester City vs Real Madrid predictions. The tie is perfectly poised at 1-1 following the first leg at the Bernabéu, although Pep Guardiola will hope home advantage gives the English side the upper hand in part two.
These two teams did, of course, meet at this same stage last season when Real Madrid turned it around late on home soil. But, Manchester City now have Erling Haaland and he has been on fire in the Champions League this season with 15 goals. Even if he had a “quiet” first leg, Haaland surely has to be a part of any Manchester City bet builder for this second leg.
The game will be broadcast in the UK on BT Sport 1 and if you’re looking for some Manchester City vs Real Madrid bet builder tips then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got a four-leg humdinger for you that explains why Guardiola’s side should be able to knock out the defending champions, with this Manchester City vs Real Madrid bet builder adding up to odds of 4.43.
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Manchester City aim for revenge
While this year’s semi-final match-up pits the same opponents as last year’s clash, the one big change is that this year the second leg is being played in Manchester, and the Cityzens will be looking to capitalise on that to turn a first-leg draw into a win after seeing victory clutched from their grasp last season. They come into the tie on the back of a confidence-boosting 3-0 thrashing of Everton, which included a brace for Ilkay Gündogan.
The 1-1 draw at the Bernabéu is the only game in the last seven that City didn’t win, and they are unbeaten for an incredible 22 matches. That run stretches all the way back to early February and has seen them regain the lead in the Premier League, reach the FA Cup final and the Champions League semi-finals.
However, the Champions League semi-final has proven a stumbling block for Manchester City in the past. Both in 2015/16 and 2021/22, Real Madrid have knocked out City at this stage of the competition. On both occasions, City had either won or drawn the first leg before falling to defeat. Only once have they reached the final, when they lost to Chelsea in 2020/21. Guardiola has undoubtedly strengthened his team since then, but the nerves of the occasion will be playing on the minds of some of even his biggest stars.
This time, though, the target will be revenge. Real Madrid have only won one of their last six games by more than a one-goal margin, against Almería, and have suffered two defeats during that run. That means that they could be vulnerable, and City certainly have a point to prove and could not be in better form heading into this one.
Manchester City team news
Pep Guardiola took advantage of a winnable fixture against Everton at the weekend to rest several key players. Kevin de Bruyne, Jack Grealish, Bernardo Silva, and John Stones were all rested, with Silva and Grealish only coming on as substitutes for less than a quarter of an hour. That means that City should have some of their biggest names fit and firing from the off in this game.
The only injury concern for the home team is Nathan Aké. Guardiola described the Dutch defender as “much better” despite missing the game against Everton, but it is yet to be decided if he will play any part in this return fixture. Given the stakes and the strong defensive display of Kyle Walker, Rúben Dias, and Manuel Akanji in Spain, the expectation is that the defensive line will remain unchanged.
Everything points towards Guardiola naming the same starting line-up that came away from Madrid with a draw, when he didn’t even use a single substitution. Impressive performances from the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden at Goodison Park may help to convince the former Barcelona boss that this time he can turn to the bench if he needs to make an impact late on in the game.
Real Madrid have never conquered the Etihad
When Real Madrid reached the Champions League final last season, helping punters cash in Real Madrid bet builder after Real Madrid bet builder along the way, they did so with the second leg at home in all three of their ties. This time, Los Blancos don’t have that advantage.
Even though Real Madrid have already navigated one Champions League tie with the second leg away this season, that was against a woeful Chelsea side. Taking on Manchester City at the Etihad is a completely different challenge.
In fact, Real Madrid have never won at the Etihad on any of their four previous visits. They drew 1-1 in the 2012/13 groups, drew 0-0 in the 2015/16 semi-final first leg, lost 2-1 in the 2019/20 last 16 second-leg, and then lost 4-3 in last year’s semi-final first leg. Now, Real Madrid visit a stadium where Manchester City have won their past 14 games, scoring 49 and conceding just seven.
Real Madrid team news
After managing to rest several starters for their 1-0 win over Getafe on Saturday, Carlo Ancelotti has been able to name all of his players in his 24-man travelling squad, but there are a few who travel less than 100 percent. David Alaba, Rodrygo and Karim Benzema all sat out the win over Getafe with minor knocks and all are expected to be available to start, but those knocks are worth keeping in mind when plotting a Real Madrid bet builder.
Then there’s the fact that Ferland Mendy is very unlikely to start this second leg given that the left-back only just returned from a long-term injury when he started on Saturday night. His replacement at left-back over these past couple of months has been Eduardo Camavinga, but he too set the alarm bells ringing when he had to come off in the final minutes against Getafe with a knee injury. Although all the reports out of the club are that he is fine to start, it remains to be seen if the young Frenchman – who had a great first-leg performance – is truly 100 percent.
“He’ll play, and I’ll tell you more, he’ll start”.Carlo Ancelotti on whether Rodrygo or Rudiger could start
Adding to the mystery of all Real Madrid bet builder predictions is the fact that there was some confusion in the Bernabéu press room on Saturday night when Ancelotti was asked about the chances of Antonio Rüdiger keeping his starting spot after handling Haaland so well in the first leg. The coach replied “he’ll play, and I’ll tell you more, he’ll start”. However, there was some confusion as many of the journalists in the press room had heard “Rodrygo” instead of “Rüdiger” and believe Ancelotti may too have been referring to the Brazilian winger. It could be elite-level mind games from the Italian, whose starting XI is much more of a mystery than it was for the first leg.
Manchester City v Real Madrid Cheat Sheet
The attacking spark for these two teams is provided by Erling Haaland and Vinícius, the two young stars who are set to dominate world football for years to come. They are having very lively seasons, with Haaland averaging 3.78 shots on target per 90 minutes this season, while Vinícius’ equivalent is 1.24. The veteran Karim Benzema shouldn’t be dismissed either when analysing Manchester City vs Real Madrid stats, as he remains his team’s leader for shots on target per 90, with 1.73.
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Manchester City v Real Madrid bet builder tips
Manchester City v Real Madrid
With the scoreline level on aggregate, Manchester City come into this game as the favourites with home advantage behind them. On a 22-game unbeaten run, it will be a big ask for Real Madrid to force a draw for only the third time since that run began in February, and it seems unlikely that even their European heritage will be able to halt the unstoppable force that is Manchester City. The Etihad saw City beat Real Madrid on the night in last season’s semi-final first leg and since then the home team have only grown stronger. The nature of Vinícius Júnior’s fortuitous goal from distance in the first leg means that City, who did find ways through the Real Madrid back line, should run out the winners this time.
Dani Carvajal committed four fouls while somehow avoiding a yellow card in the first leg of this battle, and Jack Grealish is likely to run him ragged again at the Etihad. Carvajal couldn’t keep up with his pace and trickery, and it’s likely that he’ll have another tough night. Carvajal has averaged 1.01 fouls per 90 this season, but in big matches like this one, that number is higher, as shown for example by registering two or more fouls in three of his last four Clásicos this campaign. Referee Szymon Marciniak is unlikely to offer him much protection either, given his disciplinarian nature and the fact that he showed Carvajal a yellow card last time they met in last year’s quarter-final as Real Madrid took on Chelsea.
Of course, even if Manchester City do win and progress, Real Madrid won’t go down without a fight. They’ll have their chances too and the most likely player to have these shooting opportunities is Vinícius, who scored a superb long-range strike in the first leg. Karim Benzema is out of sorts right now and Vinícius seems to know this, so should take on more shots himself at the Etihad. His season average is 1.24 shots on target per 90 minutes and there’s a good chance he’ll give Brazilian teammate Ederson something to do at least once.
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