Beating Atletico Madrid is no mean feat with the tactics that Diego Simeone deploys, though in truth Man City did ride their luck a bit in the second leg of their quarter final clash with Los Rojiblancos. While this game will likely play out differently, La Liga leaders Real won’t be any easier of a task for Pep Guardiola’s Outfit.
Real Madrid came through a thrilling tie with Chelsea 5-4 on aggregate, with Karim Benzema netting four of those five for Los Blancos in a display that has lead to many calls for the Frenchman to win this season’s Ballon D’Or.
While Benzema was clinical, his performances did mask how poor his side were at times over the two legs, with Chelsea the masters of their own downfall on too many occasions. Madrid conceded a total of 48 shots over the two legs, and if they do the same against this City side, you can bet that last years losing finalists will be far more clinical.
This will be the seventh meeting between these two sides, with all of them coming in the last decade, while none of the six so far have been separated by more than a single strike and each having a balanced record of W2-D2-L2 in that time, so history would suggest there’s absolutely nothing to split them.
Man City To Win
The fact this is at the Etihad gives City the advantage, though Madrid will be happier to have the second leg on home soil. The Citizens will be confident coming off the back of a 5-1 win over Watford at the weekend, while in this competition alone they haven’t lost a home outing since August 2020, winning 10 of their 11 outings since a defeat to Lyon and the only exception came in the second leg against Sporting Lisbon this season with the tie already over.
On balance of play, Real Madrid have done exceptionally well to get to this stage, with both PSG and Chelsea looking the more promising sides in both previous legs, and on that basis we’d be surprised if they came up trumps here.
Benzema has scored eight of Madrid’s last nine UCL knockout goals, and that over reliance will take it’s toll at some point. We’d expect Man City to have the majority of possession here, and with the chances they can create, they should have no problem taking an advantage to the Bernabeu.
Gabriel Jesus To Score Anytime
Gabriel Jesus has been a bit part player for Man City for most of the season, though four goals at the weekend means Guardiola can’t leave him out here.
What’s more, he also found the net in both matches against Los Blancos in 2020, so he certainly doesn’t have an issue against them, and we’re happy to get behind the Brazilian to continue his scoring run.
MANCHESTER CITY TO WIN
GABRIEL JESUS TO SCORE ANYTIME
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