Man City are favourites to land the win in this Champions League first leg semi-final on Tuesday night. But Real have dispatched two English sides already in this campaign, dumping Liverpool out in the round of 16 and seeing off Chelsea 4-0 on aggregate in the quarter-finals. Find all the latest markets in our sportsbook
And Real also knocked City out of the competition at this stage last year, in a wild pair of games. City won the first leg at the Etihad 4-3, before Real won the return fixture 3-1, Rodrygo taking the game to extra time with a last gasp brace.
Does that set this encounter up as a chance for Pep Guardiola to take revenge? Or are the Spanish side simply inevitable when it comes to Europe’s greatest club trophy?
Carlo Ancelotti has met Guardiola twice before in the Champions League; on each occasion it was the Italian who triumphed. Meanwhile, it’s now 12 years since Guardiola last won this competition.
While undoubtedly one of the greatest coaches in the game, the Man City man also has a reputation for unorthodox tactics that can backfire in these make-or-break encounters.
Pep’s determination to outthink his opponent may occasionally merely hamstring his side. This time though, the rudimentary tactic of getting the ball to the big man is one that even the most experimental coach cannot overlook.
Haaland might have failed to find the net against Leeds at the weekend, but the Norwegian won’t be concerned. He’s scored in 11 of his last 14 matches in all comps, finding the net in both legs against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals.
Will Real be able to keep Haaland quiet? He loves the big stage, and is 19/20 to score here at any time. He has 12 goals already in this CL campaign; seven in his last three appearances. He is surely worth backing to find the net once more here.
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