Manchester City host Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League 2015/16 semifinals at Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City are in the competition’s semifinals for the first time in their history and the previous best was round of 16 appearances in in 2013/14 and 2014/15; and were knocked-out by Barcelona on both occasions.
Real Madrid are in their sixth consecutive semifinal appearance in the competition, but gone past to the final only once, in 2013/14, when they went to lift their tenth title. This is also their first semi-final against an English club in UEFA competitions since the 3-4 defeat to Manchester United in 1967/68 season.
Manchester City’s overall record in this season’s Champions League is 6 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats. They are also unbeaten in the last five with 3 wins and 2 draws.
At home, City are unbeaten in their last 4 matches, with 3 wins and a draw and also kept clean sheets in the last two. Their only home defeat this season came against Juventus in the opening day of the tournament.
Real Madrid’s unbeaten record in the competition was broken by a 2-0 Wolfsburg win in the first leg of the quarter final tie. Their overall record this season is still formidable with 8 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss in 10 matches.
The Los Blancos have a 100% win record at home in this year’s Champions League and are yet to concede a goal in 5 matches at the Santiago Bernebeu.
Manchester City: Team News
There are no major injury concerns for Manuel Pellegrini in the build up to this match. Raheem Sterling, Vincent Kompany and David Silva are all fit and set to start against Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
Manchester City: Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Kolarov, Otamendi, Mangala, Zabaleta,
Silva, Sterling, De Bruyne,
Real Madrid: Team News
Ronaldo is set to return to the starting line-up after Zidane rested him in the weekend clash against Vallecano.
Benzema is also expected to start after recovering from a knock he suffered in the weekend, while Bale is a guaranteed started even if he is not fully fit.
Carvajal remains sidelined with an injury and Danilo is the automatic replacement for him in the starting line-up.
Real Madrid: Predicted Line-up (4-3-3)
Marcelo, Ramos, Pepe, Danilo,
Casemiro, Modric, Kroos,
Ronaldo, Bale, Jese.
Manchester City vs Real Madrid: Head-to-Head Stats
Manchester City and Real Madrid had met only once in a competitive fixtures and this was during the 2012/13 group stage of the Champion League.
Real Madrid are unbeaten in the two meetings with a 3-2 win at home and 1-1 draw at Manchester.
Manchester City’s overall record against Spanish oppositions from 15 matches so far is 5 wins, 3 draws and 7 defeats. And at home, they won in 3, drawn 2 and lost 2 out of 7 matches. They met Sevilla in this season’s group stage, winning both home and away on that occasion.
Real Madrid’s record against English opponents from 32 matches in UEFA competitions is 13 wins, 9 draws and 10 defeats. And their record in England is 6 wins, 3 draws and 5 defeats from 14 visits.
Madrid haven’t lost a match against Premier League teams in their last 6 meetings, since the 4-0 heavy defeat against Liverpool in the knock out stages of 2008/09 season.
Manchester City vs Real Madrid: Prediction
Manchester City will go in as slight favorites in the first leg tie on the back of their home advantage. The Citizens are unbeaten in their last 7 games in all competitions, but they are yet to play at their full potential.
Despite their good form in recent months, Real Madrid are far less convincing in away games. This was evident in the first leg loss at Wolfsburg and the weekend 3-2 win over a relegation threatened Rayo.
And this is also Manchester City’s best chance to put them in a strong position before going into the second leg at Bernebeu. However, I am hardly convinced that the Citizens can come with a win from this tie. Real Madrid will be on top of their game and will already have their sights set on a record 11th Champions League title.
My prediction for this match is a 2-2 draw.
Betting Tips for Manchester City vs Real Madrid
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at Full Time.
Big Money Bet: Gareth Bale to score any time.
Risky Bet: Over 1.5 goals in first half.