UCL Semi-Finals: Real Madrid v Man City (2nd Leg)

Real Madrid v Manchester City | Wednesday 4 May | Santiago Bernabeu | 20:45

Champions League logo, Manchester City v Real Madrid second leg semi-final.

Real Madrid will lock horns with Manchester City this Wednesday evening at Madrid's home base, the Santiago Bernabeu. There has been a chasm between Madrid's efforts at home and on the road - illustrating the importance of that 0-0 draw they managed to achieve at the Etihad.

City have put their fragile domestic season on hold while there still remains a chance for them in this competition. Pellegrini will be counting on his extensive experience coaching in Spain as he aims to surpass expectations and send City into an unprecedented European final.

To Win (90 Mins)
Real Madrid 5/10 | Draw 32/10 | Manchester City 5/1

Real Madrid
Real still remain within touching distance of Barcelona in their quest for a rather unbelievable La Liga title. Zidane’s tenure as interim manager of the club has exhibited much the same rampant schizophrenia that has become emblematic of the club in general.

Crucially for the all those associated with the club, Cristiano Ronaldo should return to presumably full fitness this week. Gareth Bale has deputized well for the Portuguese start as their nominal ‘go-to’ guy for inspiration. However, the Welsh star lacks the presence and genuine fear factor that Ronaldo manages to instil in fellow teams.  

The thing that most impressed me in the first leg was how solid Madrid looked in defence. While City hardly pressed the issue at the Etihad, Pepe and Ramos looked more solid than they have in some time when they were threatened with a lesser spotted City attack.

Marcelo will look to get beyond Sagna far more regularly here and should benefit immeasurably from the space created by Ronaldo’s presence. Benzema should also return from injury and offer Madrid with the option of a more direct approach. Kroos and Modric - both consummate ball playing professionals - are the complete antithesis of City’s more rambunctious midfield combination. Their guile could prove decisive this week.

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Manchester City
City will critically be without the service of talismanic playmaker David Silva for Wednesday night’s clash. His absence creates a real creativity vacuum that will need to be overcome.

Yaya Toure will likely play in the number ten role as City really lack depth in the number ten capacity. Fernandinho and Fernando will be tasked with trying to negate space to the likes of Bale and Ronaldo. Sagna will likely be preferred once again to Zabaleta - clearly an attempt to offset the obvious attacking vivacity offered by Marcelo.

Aguero cut an increasingly isolated looking figure at the Etihad last week. Following Silva’s injury, Ichenacho’s introduction alongside Aguero completely failed to yield any positive momentum for the side.

De Bruyne will once again prove critical for City. He will likely have more space to operate in this week as Real will automatically press more in front of their demanding fans.City know that an away goal will prove crucial and open up a broader canvas of results for the Mancunian side. Navas will probably be preferred to the mercurial Sterling as City look to upset the odds majorly this week.

Verdict: Matchbet + Both Teams to Score Real Madrid/Yes 2/1
I can see City scoring that all-important away goal - but don’t expect Pellegrini’s side to withstand Real’s onslaught completely.

Written by
 Damian Kayat for Hollywoodbets.

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