Manchester City – Real Madrid | 26/04/2022 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

The La Liga champions-elect meet the Premier League holders in the last four of this season’s Champions League, and the Etihad Stadium plays host to the first leg of Manchester City and Real Madrid’s semi-final on Tuesday night. Pep Guardiola’s men needed just the one goal to scrape past Atletico Madrid in the quarters, while Real ended Chelsea’s hopes of back-to-back European crowns in dramatic fashion.

After seeing off Iberian opponents in both prior knockout rounds (Sporting Lisbon and Atlético Madrid), Manchester City take on another in the form of Real Madrid in this UEFA Champions League (UCL) semi-final first leg. After their Gabriel Jesus-inspired 5-1 demolition of Watford kept them on top of the Premier League at the weekend, taking on the 13-time European champions will surely be a sterner test.

Playing at home in the first leg helped against Atlético (W 1-0), in what turned into City’s fifth consecutive European home game against Spanish opponents without defeat (W4, D1) – a run that includes a 2-1 H2H victory over Real Madrid here back in August 2020. Although the ‘Cityzens’ have injury and fitness concerns over several defenders, they’ve only conceded twice across their last four UCL home fixtures and possess an even H2H record at all venues (W2, D2, L2).

As Madrid move closer to the La Liga title after beating Osasuna 3-1 last time out, they’ve injury problems of their own with David Alaba and Casemiro to undergo late fitness tests. However, after keeping just one clean sheet in seven competitive fixtures (W5, L2), their much-vaunted attacking line-up may feel under pressure to perform here if they’re to avoid a repeat of the two H2H defeats in 2019/20.

Having led his side to a 3-1 away win over last season’s UCL champions Chelsea earlier this month, manager Carlo Ancelotti will hope for a repeat against last term’s runners-up. ‘Los Blancos’ should take some confidence from claiming their first win in four attempts in England (D1, L2) with that Chelsea triumph, although they’ve never won at this venue (D2, L1).

 

Date: 26/04/2022
Time: 22:00
Venue: Etihad Stadium (Manchester)
Pick for this match:
“Over2.5” – @ 1.76 ( BETWAY )

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