Real Madrid vs Manchester City: Line-ups
City Can Score Many Goals
City got the job done on the pitch before their treble hopes were dashed by Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-finals, but their customary thumping of Watford – with Gabriel Jesus scoring four – keeps their dreams of a domestic and continental double very much alive.
Undefeated at the Etihad in the Champions League since a 2-1 loss to Lyon back in September 2018, Man City have already found the back of the net 13 times in their five home matches in the tournament this season and navigated both legs of their Atletico and Sporting Lisbon ties without conceding a single goal.
Defensive absentees will certainly put that record under threat against Real Madrid, but Guardiola could become the first manager to eliminate Real Madrid from the Champions League three times over the course of the next two weeks and is surely more desperate than ever to finally bring the European crown to the blue side of Manchester.
Indeed, Los Blancos enter the first leg on a six-game winning streak away from home across all competitions – scoring three goals in each of their last three on rival turf – but no side has ever won away from home against two separate English teams during the knockout rounds of a single Champions League tournament.
Tuesday’s first leg will mark the seventh meeting between familiar foes Real and Man City in the Champions League, with the Citizens claiming a pair of 2-1 wins in the 2019-20 last 16, but Los Blancos had previously won 1-0 over two legs in the 2015-16 semi-finals before Guardiola touched down in Manchester.
Defensive uncertainties and absentees on both sides should have both revered managers feeling confident of gleaning a first-leg advantage at the Etihad, with Benzema and Vinicius capable of plucking goals out of nowhere for the visitors. However, City will need no second invitation to break down a depleted Blancos backline in front of their own crowd, and we expect an end-to-end first leg with plenty of goalmouth action to end all square.