Soccer UEFA Champions League - Play-Off Prediction
Manchester City vs Real Madrid - Match Preview
⚽ 17 May 2023 - 19:00 GMT +0
After last week’s 1-1 draw at the Bernabéu, Manchester City and Real Madrid bid for a UEFA Champions League (UCL) final place with the hosts one win away from the Premier League title following Sunday’s 3-0 win over Everton. Unbeaten since early February (W18, D4), Pep Guardiola has urged his side to “relax and just do what you have done for the last four or five years.”
They could equally continue what they’ve done since February as all four of those draws were away from home and they’ve won their last 14 games here, while their UCL unbeaten run at the Etihad Stadium stretches back to September 2018 (W22, D2)! Four of those victories were against Spanish sides, including most recently last term’s thrilling 4-3 H2H win in the semi-final first leg.
Madrid absorbed much of what Man City threw at them last week and stayed in the tie courtesy of Vinícius Júnior’s wonder strike before a much-rotated side beat Getafe 1-0 on Saturday to move back into second place in La Liga. After Ferland Mendy returned to action, manager Carlo Ancelotti thought he would ‘have the entire squad available’ and that he already knows the starting line-up for his record 191st UCL game as a manager.
With all the resources to draw upon, he’s aiming for five consecutive UCL wins over British opposition on foreign soil, although that run only started after they lost 4-3 here last season. While neutrals would love another similarly entertaining affair, as Los Blancos are seeking their first-ever H2H away win (D2, L2), any victory will do for the 14-time UCL champions.
📋 Players to watch: Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne has scored in three of the last five H2Hs, including the opener here last term, but Madrid’s Karim Benzema can better that having netted in three of the last four meetings, including two goals in last season’s classic at this ground.
⚡ Hot streak: Man City have won all eight European ties in which they drew the first leg away from home.
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