Tomorrow evening it’s the big one as Manchester City face-off against Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid at the Etihad. The last time Los Galacticos met an English side in the knock-out stages it was against City’s local rivals Man United back in 2013 where a second half Cristiano Ronaldo goal in the second leg sent Jose Mourinho’s men through to the quarter finals.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men will hope they can fare better than their rivals this time around against Gareth Bale and co with a place in the UCL final at stake. Today we preview all the action and try and find some betting value in the process.
Time for Bale to take centre stage?
Welsh wizard Gareth Bale has certainly had his ups and downs since joining the historic club back in 2013. From the highs of scoring the winning goals in the 2014 Copa del Rey and Champions League finals to the lows of having his car attacked by disgruntled Real fans following a series of poor performances last season, his tenure in the Spanish capital has been anything but uneventful.
But after his heroics last week in Los Galactico’s late comeback against Rayo Vallecano in which he scored two late goals to earn his side a dramatic 3-2 victory, it seems as though the 27-year-old is starting to develop shoulders broad enough to carry the weight of expectation on his shoulders.
With the Decima winning club just one point behind Barca in La Liga and second favourites to win this year’s Champions League trophy for the 11th time in their history, Madrid aficionados will now hope record signing Bale can spearhead yet another memorable season for their club in the coming weeks.
Man City: Fernando and Yaya Toure face a race against time to be fit for tomorrow night’s clash against Zidane’s men it has emerged. There is good news for the Citizens however as Vincent Kompany who missed the entirety of the quarter final win against PSG is back in contention as well as midfielders David Silva and Fernandinho.
Real Madrid: Talisman Cristiano Ronaldo remains a huge doubt for tomorrow evening’s clash. After sustaining a hamstring injury in his Real side’s 3-0 win over Villareal last week, it is still unknown whether the Portuguese will be in Zidane’s starting line-up in one day’s time.
Where does the betting value lie?
Let’s not mince our words here, City have got a real task ahead of them over the next eight days or so. Their PSG heroics aside, Madrid will represent an entirely different beast altogether for Manuel Pellegrini’s men and over the course of two legs, for us there’s only one winner.
However, with the majority of City’s roster now back and fighting fit, it wouldn’t surprise us if they could grab a draw in front of their home crowd on Tuesday night. At 5/2 the draw looks decent value, as does a draw and both teams to score at 33/10.