Real Madrid to defend crown

Real Madrid to defend crown

Real Madrid is now ready to face Manchester City for the first leg of their Champions League semi-finals series. Madrid dominated their quarter-finals series against Chelsea, as they were able to put four unanswered goals. Coming into this game, Madrid‘s eyes are fixed on their hopes of being able to defend their title. Man City on the other hand, escaped Bayern Munich in a 4-1 aggregate win. Additionally, Man City is hoping to win in this match, with aims of inching closer to the title. Man City have yet to win a title in the Champions League, which made them more eager to win this series. Madrid will host this meeting on May 10, 2023, at 3:00 AM (GMT+8).

These two teams faced each other for 10 times already, and from those matches, these two teams are on an even footing. Both have won four matches, while the remaining two both ended in draw. The hosts are doing well in the contest recently, as they were able to keep clean sheets in their last three matches in the league. Moreover, from those matches, they have not conceded a single goal. The visitors on the other hand are doing well against the hosts in the tournament. In fact, from their last four matches in the contest, they have won thrice. However, on their last meeting, the visitors suffered defeat against the hosts in a 3-1 loss. Winning in the first leg of their semi-finals series are a huge for both teams, so this is a must-win for the two of them.

Real Madrid

Champions League: Real Madrid
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Domestically, Madrid are actually doing well, as they are sitting at the second of the La Liga standings. This is not new though, considering how impressive they are this season, which is why they were able to go this far in the contest. For a team who is aiming to defend their title, it looks like Madrid is really going in that direction. In fact, they were hailed as the 2023 Copa del Rey champions. This result gives them more confidence that they can have the same result not just in this match but in the contest as well. A win in this match is not impossible as they have stepped up bigtime in their last matches. Additionally, they also have a squad who is capable of doing magic for their squad. However, they have issues that needs to be addressed in order to win here.

Unfortunately, Madrid needs to play without Militao, since he needs to face suspension in the first leg. Another absentee for Madrid is Dani Ceballos, who is suffering from a quadriceps problem. The good news for them is that Ferland Mendy, and Luka Modric could return here, as Mendy already trained, while Modric already played on their last match.

Manchester City

Premier League: Manchester City
Photo courtesy of PA Wire

Man City on the other hand is sitting at the top of the Premier League, league table, which is no longer surprising. They have been phenomenal during their recent matches, which puts them to where they are right now. Man City is actually hungry to win in this series, as they are a team who have yet to experience a title in the Champions League. Additionally, Man City have a good momentum coming into this game. They are from a 2-1 win against Leeds United on their last match. With that, they are aiming for the same result in this important match, or an even better result. Their excellence with their recent results is because of how talented their squad is, especially Erling Haaland. He is breaking records after records, and he is one of the key to Man City’s success.

Man City lost Nathan Ake due to a hamstring issue, which is huge for them, especially defensively. Cole Palmer on the other hand is a doubt due to an ankle issue, but it is reported that he travelled with his squad. Rodri, John Stones, Bernardo Silva, and Jack Grealish on the other hand are all returning in this match after being rested.

Prediction:

Manchester City (3.0)
Odds: -0.83

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