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Champions League: Waiting for the goal rain

The competition between the two football villages of England and Spain in the semi-finals Real Madrid risking against Man City in the Champions League semi-finals”>Champions League will begin at 2 am tomorrow morning 27/4 when Man.City welcomes Real Madrid at Etihad Stadium in the first leg with a lot of things to be expected.

Real Madrid played on the home turf of the Blue Man (behind closed doors due to the pandemic Covid-19) in 2020 in the round of 16 of the Champions League, where they fell and were eliminated from the game. This time, the Spanish royal team hope things will be different as their striker Benzema is playing in excellent form, scoring 7 goals in the knockout stage this season.

Champions League: Waiting for the goal rain - photo 1

De Bruyne (right), Man.City’s laser-precise passing machine


Real’s attack, especially on the wings, can feel a little easier when it is likely that Man.City will not have the pair of full-backs Walker (injury) and Cancelo (suspended), not to mention the center. Even the Stones guard is not sure he will recover in time. Cancelo’s absence will affect the play of the Blue Man a lot because in addition to being considered one of the best attacking full-backs in Europe this season, he is also often used by Coach Guardiola along with Walker. often in building play and they are both very important in preventing the opponent’s transition from defense to attack.

Besides, though Man.City have kept a clean sheet in the last 4 matches in the Champions League but it is not easy against another Spanish team Atletico in the quarter-finals. They had difficulty imposing the game when Atletico played deep and also had problems when the opponent played more proactively in the second leg. On top of that, it can be difficult for Guardiola’s teachers and students when a talented team “bullies” them, as happened in the FA Cup semi-final when the players Liverpool pressure them to make mistakes.

Equal confrontation

From 2012 to now, Man.City and Real Madrid have met officially 6 times, each side has 2 wins and 2 draws. In the 3 home matches of Man.City, the Etihad Stadium team won 1, drew 2, in contrast, Real won 2 lost 1. The last 2 times met in the 1/8 round of the Champions League in 2020, Man.City won Real. both times. The first leg won 2-1 at the Bernabeu (Isco opened the scoring, Gabriel Jesus equaled and De Bruyne won 11 meters), and the second leg also won 2-1 due to a free mistake by the French midfielder. Varane (now moved to MU). Sterling opened the scoring, Benzema equalized and Jesus fixed the final score.


The bottom line is this: Real can do either of those things (defend deep or go forward and press). However, coach Ancelotti will probably not allow his players to contest control in the midfield as they have done in most matches against Chelsea and PSG if you don’t want to reveal too big gaps. Real need to have better legal discipline because Man.City is “cruel” than their previous two opponents.

One of the positions that Real need to have the most discipline is in the interceptor that coach Ancelotti will assign to “take care” of De Bruyne, Man.City’s laser-like precision passing machine. Playing at home, Blue Man has always been considered a master of flexible, unpredictable ball movements that make De Bruyne’s passes even more deadly.

All in all, Man.City’s patchwork of defense should help coach Ancelotti feel confident about taking the first leg advantage at the Etihad Stadium, with Benzema and Vinicius both capable of scoring for Real. However, with a diverse attacking lineup, Pep’s students were completely able to break the defense of the “White Vulture” in front of the home audience. Therefore, this first leg will probably end with many thrilling phases and contain many surprises in front of the goal of both teams. Because both sides’ attack is good, the fans are waiting for the rain of goals from both teams tomorrow morning. Odds: Man.City handicap 1 left, 1 and a half win 8.

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