Manchester City vs Real Madrid Champions League Semifinals Leg 2 Preview

Quinn Allen
Quinn Allen
Sports Betting News
Manchester City vs Real Madrid Champions League Semifinals Leg 2 Preview

It all comes down to Wednesday as Manchester City plays host to current title-holders Real Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday, May 17th at the Etihad Stadium. The kick-off is scheduled for 3 PM ET. The two sides played to a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu last Tuesday. The winner here will book their spot in the final in Istanbul on June 10th, with Los Blancos seeking their competition-best 15th trophy. 

Quick Take

  • Manchester City welcome Real Madrid to the Etihad on Wednesday
  • City is a -160 favorite in the second leg
  • Read on for the preview of this fixture on Wednesday

Head-to-Head History

There’s no shortage of history between City and Madrid in Europe’s most prestigious competition. They’ve met nine times in the UCL including the first leg, with Real actually beating the Premier League champions 6-5 on aggregate across two legs in last year’s semifinals before going on to take down Liverpool in the final. Prior to that, the Sky Blues prevailed in the 2019/20 Round of 16, eliminating Madrid 4-2 on aggregate.

Treble Still in Sight For Man City

Manchester City was handed a major boost in their EPL title hopes on Sunday as Arsenal suffered a 2-0 defeat to Brighton. With a victory next weekend, Pep Guardiola’s men can clinch the most important piece of domestic hardware there is. In fact, the treble is still in play for the Cityzens, who take on Manchester United in the FA Cup Final on June 3rd as well. 

That being said, it’s clear the most important trophy for City right now is the one they’ve never won: The Champions League. The arrival of Erling Haaland has done wonders for the club both in England and in Europe, with the Norwegian bagging a mind-boggling 52 goals across all competitions, including 12 in the UCL.

While Madrid actually did a fine job of shutting down Haaland last week, Kevin De Bruyne produced the goods with a world-class equalizer in the second half as he smashed a picture-perfect strike past his Belgian compatriot Thibaut Courtois. City needs Haaland to find his magic Wednesday on home soil, but even if he’s unable to, there is still more than enough quality in this squad to move past Los Blancos. That’s why they’re a clear -168 favorite at 888sport.

Can Madrid Get it Done?

Success in the Champions League is simply a common occurrence for Real. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t hungry for more. With the La Liga title essentially out of sight, the UCL is undoubtedly Madrid’s primary focus. 

Carlo Ancelotti’s side was frankly outplayed in the first 45 minutes last Tuesday but that didn’t stop Vinicius from scoring an absolute banger to put his club ahead. Thanks to a fantastic counter-attack spearheaded by Eduardo Camavinga, Vinicius finished it off with a ridiculous strike that rattled the back of the City net to send the entire Bernabeu into a frenzy.

Knocking off Man City won’t be anything new for Los Blancos, but it could be the most difficult task yet. Even though David Alaba, Antonio Rudiger, and the rest of the backline managed to contain Haaland in the reverse fixture, it’s difficult to imagine he’ll be such a non-factor again, especially at the Etihad. 

Most soccer betting sites are underestimating Madrid Wednesday, but Ancelotti’s boys know what they’re capable of. We could be in for quite the ride in the decisive second leg.