July 26, 2022
Manchester City v Real Madrid betting preview (April 26)

Man City vs Real Madrid Odds

Man City Odds -200
Real Madrid odds +525
To design +333
More less 2.5 (-155 / +110)
day | Weather tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
How to watch SCS | Paramount+ | fuboTV
Odds updated via BetMGM. Keep up to date football odds here.

Zero.

That’s how many Champions League crowns Manchester City have won in their storied history, leaving an empty and lit space in the club’s decorated trophy cabinet.

Well, manager Pep Guardiola and the Premier League giants have their best chance yet to fill that void by starting their UCL semi-final clash with Spanish stalwart Real Madrid in the opener. on Tuesday at the Etihad Stadium.

BetMGM bettors have installed Man City as joint favorites to win the title this season, sharing top honors with fellow EPL juggernaut Liverpool. Both are quoted at +125 odds, followed by Real Madrid and La Liga Longshot Villarreal at +1800 odds.

The Cityzens struggled in their quarter-final with Atlético Madrid, who were the third La Liga powerhouse to reach the last eight of the competition. Kevin De Bruyne scored the only goal of the home and away set in City’s first 1-0 home win before the two battled to a scoreless and spirited draw in the Spanish capital for the reverse fixture.

On the other side, Real Madrid advanced by dethroning defending UCL champions Chelsea via a 5-4 aggregate score line. Karim Benzema continued to do Karim Benzema things for Los Blancos, registering a hat-trick in a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge in the first leg before scoring the extra-time winner in the rematch at the Santiago Bernabéu .

So let’s see where we can find the highest bet value in this intriguing game.

Can Man City finally capture UCL glory?

The biggest news going into this game is that Rüben Dias is back in Man City’s starting lineup. Arguably the best centre-back in the world, the Portugal international came on as a substitute early in the second half in last Wednesday’s 3-0 home win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

And coincidence or not, the Cityzens scored three goals – courtesy of Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva – in the final 45 minutes to secure the win and three points. Dias played the full 90 minutes last Saturday in a 5-1 loss to Watford which saw City win the expected goals battle by a 3.0-0.5 margin.

The victory ensured the club maintained their one-point lead over Liverpool, who grappled and fought their way to a 2-0 win over Everton in the Premier League title chase last Sunday.

Despite being heavy favourites, the Cityzens have major issues when it comes to player health at the back. Kyle Walker hasn’t played since picking up a knock in the play against Atlético Madrid and John Stones is struggling with hamstring issues which puts the two standout defenders in doubt.

Add to that the fact that right-back João Cancelo is suspended due to an accumulation of cards and you have major questions regarding the four defenders. And all this despite Dias returning and City not allowing a single goal in the previous four knockout stage matches.

Real Madrid hopes cross Benzema

It may sound terribly cliché, but when it comes to world football, this is truly Benzema’s world and we are all lucky to live there.

The Real Madrid talisman and France international has redefined the term ‘red-hot’ on the pitch, registering a stunning 39 goals in 39 games in all competitions. He single-handedly took care of nearly the entire score against Chelsea, including some ridiculously tricky finishing in the first encounter at Stamford Bridge.

Benzema’s dagger in overtime in the reverse game was just the icing on the cake and clinched a place in the semis.

Yet with all the talk surrounding Benzema and Brazilian wonderkid Vinícius Júnior, you simply can’t fail to mention savvy veteran playmaker Luka Modrić. Trailing 3-0 from deep in the second half of the reverse fixture with Chelsea, Modrić dropped an absolute penny on the foot of Viní Jr, who beat goalkeeper Édouard Mendy to get Los Blancos on the board and force time additional.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti has some, albeit very minor, issues with Casemiro and defender David Alaba dealing with a few minor knocks, but I expect the two to line up in Madrid’s traditional 4-3-3 formation when the teams take the Etihad ground.


Stats comparisons between Man City and Real Madrid

*Information via fbref.com

PLAYER STATS MAN CITY REAL MADRID
Most goals (all lineups) De Bruyne/Sterling (14) Benzem (39)
Best assists Jesus (12) Vinicius Junior (18)
LEAGUE STATISTICS MAN CITY REAL MADRID
xG 74.7 63.8
xGA 23.0 37.7
xGDiff +51.7 +26.1
xGDiff/90 minutes +1.57 +0.79

Analysis of bets and selections

Listen, there’s a reason Manchester City are parked at -200 or more on the three-way moneyline. Guardiola has the best team on the planet and is the legitimate favorite to finally lift the trophy.

And maybe the Cityzens will do just that. However, all it takes is Benzema to get a little sniffle on goal to get Los Blancos on the board away from home. He is the most in-form striker in the world, the worst case scenario being that he is doubled and frees up chances for Vinícius Júnior, Federico Valverde, etc. to find the bottom of the net.

That said, I back this game by erasing 2.75 goals at fair odds of -115 via DraftKings on Asian totals as my top pick. I recommend shopping around for the best price if you follow this game, but I can see the number landing between -110 and -120 before kickoff.

I’m also taking a swing on a parlay, using both semi-final matches in the bet. I match the Manchester City/Real Madrid tally by clearing 2.75 goals with Villarreal getting +2 goals via the alternate spread in their scuffle with Liverpool at +196 odds at DraftKings.

I really like both bets, including the second half of the game. The Yellow Submarine, which was questioned (by everyone but Action Network colleague Anthony Dabbundo) for the entire knockout round of the campaign, can give the Reds a lot of problems with his style of play.

We saw Everton frustrate Liverpool for 60 minutes of Sunday’s game at Anfield. And it goes without saying that this Villarreal side are better managed and more skilful than Frank Lampard’s ill-fated Merseyside side.

Choice: Total Over 2.75 goals (-115)

Parlay – Manchester City/Real Madrid (total over 2.75 goals) and Villarreal +2 vs Liverpool (+196)

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