It’s Manchester City against Real Madrid in the rematch of the UCL’s round of 16 phase. The Citizens have a 2-1 advantage from the first clash in Madrid, when they came back from behind to score a massive win. Yet, that was way back, and the Los Blancos are a much better team than before. After winning the La Liga championship with a stunning row of results after the resumption of play, their morale is as high as it gets, and they come to Etihad to beat the Sky-Blues.
Manchester City (-125) was looking pretty good following the comeback. The Citizens were keeping themselves ready for the UCL games, with Guardiola dosing and measuring the form, avoiding to overextend his most important players. There were a few losses which weren’t projected, like the one against Arsenal in the semis of the FA Cup, but on the other side, we saw the Sky-Blues rolling over Liverpool, 4-0, just one week after the Reds secured the trophy.
It appears that City’s performance in this event was just a statement and a reminder that nobody should forget about them even though they aren’t in the middle of attention and aren’t producing some high-margin wins as before.
In the last six matches at Etihad (the ones after the comeback), Guardiola’s defense allowed just one goal, while on the other side scored 24. Keep that in mind.
Real Madrid (+320) had 10 straight wins until securing the La Liga title and playing 2-2 in the last round against Leganes. It was a fantastic stretch during which Los Blancos showed an incredible character and mental power, jumping over Barca in the end and snatching the trophy, which was already on his way towards Catalonia as many predicted.
In 11 games played following the comeback, Real scored two or more goals on 8 occasions, with Karim Benzema emerging as a leader, and arguably the best player in Europe throughout the last two months.
Zidane is a tactical genius, and his inventions have made this generation of Real’s players extremely adjustable to all the circumstances and factors on and off the pitch.
Sergio Aguero is still out, and he won’t be participating in this match. Mendy is also injured, yet the absence of these two guys won’t trouble Guardiola too much.
On the other side, Zidane’s biggest problem is Sergio Ramos’ red card suspension, and the pivotal part of Real’s defense won’t be eligible to help his teammates. Gareth Bale and Mariano Diaz are also out, while Hazard and Marcelo remain questionable.
Head to Head Matches
As we said, the first game was 1-2 for City, and that was their first win over Real in competitive matches. Isco scored a leading goal for the hosts in that one, but a one-two combination delivered by Gabriel Jesus and De Bruyne stunned the Madridians, silencing Bernabeu.
Previous two Champions League games in Manchester ended with a draw, 1-1, and 0-0.
There’s no need to overthink here, as high-efficiency imposes itself as the only logical solution for betting. Real has to chase the result, and a two-goal win, otherwise they won’t advance to the next stage during the regular 90 minutes. City won’t wait for any of such attacks but will try to impose its own pace. Therefore, we have to pick both teams to score and over 2.5 goals with the odds at -125.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.