After an arduous five-month wait, Manchester City finally resume their quest to land the piece of silverware they covet the most this week, when the Citizens welcome La Liga champions Real Madrid to the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s desire to conquer the continent with City this season has cranked up in intensity following the club’s poor Premier League showing, and a statement victory over 13-times winners Real Madrid on Friday, would galvanize hopes that 2020 might be the year that sky blue ribbons are tied to the Champions League trophy.
The Citizens carry a 2-1 lead from February’s Last 16 first-leg encounter in Spain into this week’s crucial climactic fixture, and with the outcome of the tie still on a knife edge, an enthralling contest is anticipated in Manchester on Friday.
Ahead of the action, we’ve put together a tasty looking five-part #OOT selection with Betfair for the game that comes in at a 28/1!
But before we breakdown the reasoning behind our Odds on That selections, make sure to check out our more detailed Manchester City vs Real Madrid predictions here for further analysis and exclusive betting tips.
What is Betfair’s #OddsOnThat?
Betfair’s #OddsOnThat feature allows you create a customised multiples bet based on your own unique picks ahead of a particular football match. You can choose from a huge variety of markets and once you have decided on your selection, you can request a price for your acca from Betfair on Twitter using the #OddsOnThat hashtag.
Want to add FST’s 28/1 selection straight to your betslip? Check it out below:
Manchester City vs Real Madrid #OOT
Man City to win
Manchester City’s form at the Etihad Stadium since football’s resumption in June has been superb, and having won six out of six games on home soil over the past six weeks, a seventh victory looks probable against Real Madrid.
Shorn of key central defender Sergio Ramos through suspension, Real should struggle to deal with a prolific Citizens front line that plundered 24 goals in the aforementioned six games they contested at home since mid-June.
The Citizens were much the better team when the sides clashed in the Spanish capital back in February, and had they been a little more clinical with their 16 attempts on goal, they might have established an unassailable first leg lead. We’re backing City to finish the job in Friday’s second leg.
Both teams to score
While we expect City to power their way to victory on Friday, a consolation effort should be on offer for Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium.
Los Blancos lack the final third sparkle of yesteryear, but while they could never be described as prolific in their current guise, they are at least consistent goal-scorers, as evidenced by their record of finding the net at least once in 23 of their 25 competitive fixtures in 2020.
City both scored and conceded in 100% of their last five Champions League assignments and a similar outcome is anticipated in their latest tournament outing on Friday.
Raheem Sterling to score anytime
With a five-goal haul already in the bag, Raheem Sterling is Man City’s joint top scorer in the Champions League this season alongside Brazilian hot-shot Gabriel Jesus.
The England international has enjoyed another bountiful campaign overall for City in 2019/20, and Sterling’s last day Premier League strike against Norwich City on July 26 brought his total for the season up to an impressive 30 in all competitions.
10 of those 30 goals were notched after the campaign’s restart in June, and with his finishing touch looking lethal, Sterling is a prime candidate to get his name on the scoresheet again on Friday.
Casemiro to be carded
Brazilian Casemiro is the glue that holds the Real Madrid midfield together, and the combination of steel and aggression the anchorman brings to the team allows Los Blancos’ more creative players to thrive further up the pitch.
However, picking up cards comes with the territory when a player is deployed as a screening midfielder and Casemiro has collected more bookings this season than any of his teammates in Madrid.
In total, the 28-year-old has been shown a yellow card a whopping 14 times in all competitions, while his 2.5 fouls per 90 minutes average also makes him the club’s most prolific purveyor of illegal challenges.
Casemiro should have his work cut out to contain Man City’s notoriously attack minded midfield trio this week, and we think he could well tackle himself into the official’s notebook again.
Under 9.5 corners
When Real Madrid and Man City locked horns for their Last 16 first leg tussle in February, the teams won a total of just five corner kicks between them over the course of the 90 minutes in the Spanish capital.
Los Blancos managed to win just one corner during the contest at the Santiago Bernabeu, while Man City were able to rack a modest four corners in response.
With much of Friday’s battle expected to be fought in the middle third at the Etihad this week, a similarly low final corner count is anticipated in Manchester.