Preview and Prediction
The Citizens’ domestic campaign this season was catastrophe. They only managed to secure one title, League Cup, but failed to retain the Premier League and FA Cup. However, their continental one is quite promising. They have had a precious advantage from the first leg on the road against Real Madrid. Guardiola will certain strive to keep it close till the final whistle to get through the quarter final. This is the right time to prove to himself and the world that he could also thrive in Europe and win the title with Manchester City, instead of just having his glory days with The Catalans back then.
The teams’ previous matches
Raheem Sterling and Co had an easy win in the last game of Premier League while hosting Norwich City. They simply dismantled The Canaries 5-0. Gabi Jesus opened the scoring followed by Kevin De Bruyne who also bagged his brace in this final EPL game for David Silva. The two remaining goals were scored by Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez.
Los Blancos, which had sealed their title before, could only muster a 2-2 draw while visiting Leganes. The home side was in need of victory to stay in the top tier but did not succeed. Real Madrid even took the lead twice, first by Sergio Ramos’s header and then by Marco Asencio’s strike. Yet, Leganes were able to equalise twice too by Bryan Gil and Roger Assale.
Possible game plan
Considering the current situation, Guardiola’s side has to be careful not to leave any space for the visitors to exploit their defensive frailties. Thus, He could consider employing 4-3-1-2 instead of his regular 4-3-3 formation. Such will meet Zidane’s side with more pragmatic approach, yet still deadly once they need to with 4-3-2-1 formation, especially when it comes to set piece scenario or counter attack. However, the absence of Sergio Aguero and Sergio Ramos could affect both sides’ form.
Possible Line-up and Missing Players
Manchester City (4-3-1-2) – Ederson; Fernandinho, Aymeric Laporte, Olexander Zincheko, Kyle Walker; Rodrigo, Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva; Kevin De Bruyne; Raheem Sterling, Gabi Jesus.
Missing players: Sergio Aguero, Benjamin Mendy.
Real Madrid (4-3-2-1) – Thibault Cortois; Raphael Varane, Eder Militao, Dani Carvajal, Ferland Mendy; Toni Kroos, Isco, Casemiro; Eden Hazard, Marco Asencio; Karim Benzema.
Missing players: Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Mariano
Manchester City vs Madrid Prediction
The home side will not be tempted to just keep their lead without scoring. Thus, Guardiola’s men are likely to let Madrid come out of their nest as they need the goals more than themselves. Yet, their strong midfielders will be the ones who get involved more in ball possession before swiftly pass it to the speedy Sterling and possible Phil Foden, which might stun Madrid. The draw result might be fair, which certainly is sufficient for Kevin de Bruyne and Co to progress.
Manchester City is still the favourite. They are priced to win at 1.72, whereas the odds for a draw at 4.40. Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s win market is at 4.35.