Twelve days after their Premier League campaign came to a close, Manchester City return to action to try to book their place in the Champions League quarter-finals on Friday when they welcome Real Madrid to the Etihad Stadium.
City head into the second leg with a 2-1 lead from the match at the Bernabeu back in February. City would have been feeling good about themselves after the first leg, but there is a degree of uncertainty heading into the reserve match due to what has transpired across the world of football in recent months.
Madrid have won their last seven away matches in the round of 16, while they have been victorious in 16 of their last 25 European away fixtures, suffering just five defeats, which is a brilliant record at this level.
The Spanish outfit have also won eight of their 12 two-legged knockout ties against English clubs in European competition, notably overcoming City in the semi-finals back in 2016 courtesy of a 1-0 success.
Reason for Man City vs. Real Madrid predictions:
- Man City won 100% of their six home games since the restart.
- Real Madrid won just three of their seven Champions League fixtures this term.
- Man City beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the first leg between the clubs in Spain.
- Real Madrid scored at least once in 23 of their 25 matches in 2020.
- Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has won 28 knockout matches in the UEFA Champions League – more than any other manager in the history of the competition.
City finished their 2019/20 domestic campaign with nine wins from 12 matches, hitting a whopping 36 goals along the way.
Real Madrid proved an irresistible force in Spain post-lockdown, winning 10 of their last 11 league fixtures to finish a comfortable five points clear of traditional antagonists Barcelona in the final shake-up.
These two sides have met on five previous occasions, with Madrid leading the head-to-head record two victories to one, while there have also been two draws.
The last meeting between the two sides came in the semi-finals of the 2015-16 competition, and the Spanish giants advanced to the final courtesy of a 1-0 aggregate success. City’s 2-1 victory in the first leg in February was therefore their first success against the capital giants.
This week’s meeting is the third clash between the teams at the Etihad Stadium in the Champions League, with the last two encounters ending in draws. Madrid have won five of their 11 away games in England, and they will fancy their chances of at least avoiding defeat on Friday.
We are finding it difficult to back City to lose at the Etihad Stadium, even taking into account their problems. We are backing a 2-2 draw on the night, which would see Guardiola’s side advance into the quarter-finals of the competition.
Manchester City 2-2 Real Madrid