Manchester City take on visitors from Madrid on the first leg of Champions League semifinals. The match will be played at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, April 26.
The hosts have gained solid conditions at the end of the season and they are unbeaten in 7 recent matches. It would be almost impossible finish above the third place in the Premier League. Manuel Pellegrini’s men have 64 points and 66-34 aggregate goal difference with only three matches remaining. The Citizens have knocked out Dynamo Kyiv in the round of last 16 (3-1 win on the road and 0-0 draw at home). The quarterfinal clashes with the Parisians turn out to Kevin de Bryune’s benefit performances as the Belgian has scored important away goal in Paris (2-2) and the decider in Manchester (1-0). Manchester City played 25 matches at home this season, taking 16 wins, 5 draws and recording only 4 defeats at own stadium.
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Real show outstanding form in 2016. Los Blancos won their recent match at Rayo Vallecano 3-2 after being down by 2 goals at the halftime. Zidane’s men are still battling for the Primera title as they are third with 81 point. Real are only 1 point behind duo of leaders Barcelona and neighbors Atletico with 3 matches remaining. Los Merengues have beaten Roma in the round of last 16 (2-0 in each leg) but had troubles with defeating Wolfsburg. The German side won the home leg (2-0) but impressive Ronaldo left the opponents no chances by scoring a hat-trick at Bernabeu. Real Madrid played 24 matches on the road this season, taking 14 wins, 7 draws and suffering only 3 defeats.
The opponents met in the Champions League matches back in 2012. Real were a stronger side at home 3-2 and the clash in Manchester ended with 1-1 draw. We should expect the Citizens to play solid defensive football at own stadium and at least avoid a defeat while Real’s recent performances on the road suggest that this match won’t be an easy walk for Zidane’s side.
Prediction for the match: Manchester City to win with +0.5 Asian handicap.