ALL eyes are on the Bernabeu as Real Madrid host Man City in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a look at the odds.
Real Madrid v Manchester City | Wednesday 19:45 | BT Sport Europe
A repeat of the 2014 Champions League Final is odds on to occur after Atletico Madrid fought past Bayern Munich on Tuesday night to secure their place in the Milan showdown on May 28.
That of course means that Real Madrid are expected to follow suit and indeed bookmakers are as short as 4/11 on Zinedine Zidane’s side going through on Wednesday. That may be underestimating Man City.
First let’s look at the huge hurdle City face at the Bernabeu. Real have been in wicked form on home turf throughout this season and have only lost there twice. Firstly a 4-0 humbling at the hands of Barcelona in November then a 1-0 loss to Atletico in late-February.
There have been some eye-watering scores for Real at home; Rayo Vallecano had 10 put past them just two weeks before Rafa Benitez was sacked, Malmo were beaten 8-0 and Celta Vigo lost 7-1 in March.
On top of this beastly scoring record their defence is equally as impressive. The ten time European champions have now recorded five straight clean sheets at home and incredibly have yet to concede in the Champions League this season at the Bernabeu.
With Cristiano Ronaldo back from injury, the task awaiting Man City is a formidable one. Can they break down this robust defence and keep tabs on Cristiano?
Chalked up at 6/1, this presents a number of options to get with the English side on a number of markets and I think we’ll see a better performance than the odds imply.
Manuel Pellegrini’s outfit continue to surprise in this competition. Once again they were dealt a very rough group involving Juventus, Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach but managed to come out on top.
In the Last 16 they smothered their tie against Dynamo Kiev in the opening leg in the Ukraine by winning 3-1 and then overcame PSG against the odds in the Quarter-Finals.
Form figures of P5 W3 D1 L1 on their travels this season is impressive stuff with the only loss coming against a superb Juventus side when qualification looked assured.
This Man City side also look to keep themselves sweet for these kind of matches. Disregard the 4-2 Sunday loss to Southampton as it means little with the changes that took place.
Since the PSG win this side look to have developed a real sheen of self-belief. Chelsea were destroyed 3-0, Stoke 4-0 and of course they held Real Madrid last week.
The fact that City kept a clean sheet last week means that an away goal could be lethal for them. It could blow a hole in this tie and I’m willing to chance on that happening.
Quotes of 8/13 on them scoring feel a little short but the 17/20 on Both Teams To Score looks fair. That will be the centrepiece of my bets in this game and I’ll top that up with some speculative Correct Score that involve an aggressive Man City approach.