It is all to play for when Real Madrid host Manchester City at Santiago Bernebeu for the second leg fixture of the Champions League semifinal 2015/16.
The teams played a 0-0 stalemate at the Etihad a week ago and it is anyone’s game when they took the field in Madrid. The Los Blancos, who are in making their sixth semifinal appearance in a row had only managed to go past to the finals on one occasion. The 2013/14 season saw them lifting the La Decima.
Manchester City are in the Champions League final for the first time ever in their history. Their previous best was round of 16 appearances on two consecutive seasons, 2013/14 and 2014/15; and on both occasions they were knocked-out by a Spanish side – Barcelona.
Real Madrid were unbeaten in the competition until the 2-0 away defeat at Wolfsburg in the first leg of the quarter final. They done brilliantly to turn around the deficit and earned a 3-0 win back at their own turf. Their overall record this season’s competition from 11 matches reads 8 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss.
Real Madrid have won all of their 5 home matches in this season’s Champions League so far. They have kept clean sheets in all of them and their shot stopper Keylor Navas is yet to concede a goal at Santiago Bernebeu.
Manchester City’s overall record in this season’s Champions League is 6 wins, 3 draws and 2 defeats. They are also unbeaten in the last six with 3 wins and 3 draws. And their away record is 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss.
Real Madrid: Team News
Cristiano Ronaldo is not fully fit yet, but he is training with the first team and is a certain to start on Wednesday.
While Karim Benzema and Casemiro misses out after failing to recover from their respective injuries.
Dani Carvajal and Marcelo could return to the starting line-up after being rested in the weekend, while Pepe and Sergio Ramos could start at the heart of the defence.
Real Madrid: Predicted Starting Line-up (4-3-3)
Marcelo, Ramos, Pepe, Carvajal,
Isco, Modric, Kroos,
Ronaldo, Bale, Vasquez.
Manchester City: Team News
The biggest blow for Manchester City is the injury sustained by David Silva midway through the first half of the first leg clash at Etihad. He is out for at least three weeks and will be missed here.
Yaya Toure remains a big doubt as he is struggling with a thigh strain, while Nasri is unregistered.
Raheem Sterling is likely to start here alongside Navas to deputize Kevin De Bruyne in the attacking third, with Kelechi Iheanacho being another option.
Manchester City: Predicted Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Kolarov, Otamendi, Kompany, Zabaleta,
Sterling, De Bruyne, Navas,
Real Madrid vs Manchester City: Head-to-Head Stats
Manchester City and Real Madrid had met only once in a competitive fixture before this and that was during the group stages of 2012/13 edition 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 16 matches so far is 5 wins, 4 draws and 7 defeats. And while playing in Spain, they won in 2, drawn 1 and lost 5 out of 8 matches. Their latest Spanish opposition was FC Sevilla in this season’s group stage, City won in both home and away leg on that occasion.
Real Madrid’s overall record against English opponents from 33 UEFA branded matches is 13 wins, 10 draws and 10 defeats. And their home record against English clubs is 7 wins, 5 draws and 2 defeats from 14 matches.
Madrid haven’t lost a match against Premier League teams in their last seven meetings, since the 4-0 heavy defeat against Liverpool in the knock out round of 16 in the 2008/09 season.
Real Madrid vs Manchester City: Prediction
This clash has every making for a classic, but we doubt the injuries and fitness of players at both end might take some spark out. Real Madrid is already tipped as heavy favorites to win this one, but Manchester City are no pushovers by any means.
For me, the contest will be very tactical as both managers look for a cautious start. But Real Madrid have a good record at home in all competitions and yet to concede a goal in this season’s Champions League.
None of the teams want to lose this and there will be some kind of history to be made on Wednesday, let it be Madrid to their record final appearance or Manchester City to their first ever final.
Judging by the forms and various stats available, Real Madrid could win this one and I expect to see some exciting attacking football and promise goals in plenty.
My prediction is a 2-0 win for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid vs Manchester City: Bet Tips
Best Bet: Real Madrid to win.
Big Money Bet: Gareth Bale to score first goal.
Risky Bet: Both teams to score and match drawn.