Pick and Prediction for Manchester City vs. Real Madrid on Tuesday, April 26

| April 25, 2022 5:59 am PDT

It’s time for the semifinals of the 2021-22 Champions League! The first game on the program is Manchester City vs. Real Madrid, which is taking place on Tuesday, April 24, at Etihad Stadium in Manchester.

The game is interesting for a plethora of reasons, starting with the fact that Real Madrid is the most successful Champions League team ever. Los Blancos have won the competition 13 times so far. Meanwhile, Manchester City still have zero UCL trophies in its collection. However, Champions League odds suggest there’s a good chance the Sky Blues will win the trophy this year.

Ahead of the semifinal phase of the competition, Manchester City is the co-favorite for the title, together with Liverpool. Sportsbooks are giving +100 on each team.

Actually, just a few weeks ago, Pep Guardiola’s men were sitting at the top of the favorites list. So, what happened? The UCL draw put them against Real Madrid in the semifinal, a team that’s already knocked several major favorites out of the competition, most notably PSG and Chelsea.

Can Real Madrid cause another sensation? The answer might lie in my Manchester City vs. Real Madrid Champions League prediction.

Manchester City vs. Real Madrid Odds

Manchester City to Win1.50
The Draw4.50
Real Madrid to Win6.00

I took the odds from Betway, as this sportsbook is giving better prices than most others. This goes especially for the odds on Manchester City, which many other sportsbooks see as an even stronger favorite. Why is that the case?

One of the reasons is that Real Madrid has never won against Manchester City in England. Still, you need to keep in mind that Los Blancos just love to upset the odds. They did it several times this season, most notably, against Chelsea in London three weeks ago.

As a reminder, Real Madrid came to England as a 3.60 underdog, but then the Karim Benzema show happened – the 34-year-old Frenchman scored a hat-trick!

It was Benzema’s second straight hat-trick in the Champions League. He scored three goals in the game with PSG just a few weeks earlier. In that game too, Real Madrid was an underdog, with some bookies giving 2.60 on Los Blancos.

Knowing all this, you might wonder if there’s a way Real Madrid can upset the odds once again? I think we could see such a scenario play out, and it’s not just because Benzema & Co. have been awesome in the Champions League. It’s also because Pep Guardiola’s team has some big issues at the back.

Man City’s Banged-Up Defense

The Sky Blues scored a total of ten goals in their previous three games, meaning that they shouldn’t worry much about their offense. Their defense, on the other hand, should worry them. It’s not that they’re not doing well at the back. It’s just that ahead of the UCL semifinal, they got some issues with injuries and suspensions.

There are seven defenders in Manchester City’s first team. Five of them are either suspended, injured, or struggling with fitness. Let’s start with Joao Cancelo. The right-back will miss Tuesday’s game due to a yellow card suspension.

He played in that position last weekend (against Watford) as a replacement for Kyle Walker who’s still struggling with an ankle injury. At this point, it’s not clear whether he’s fit enough to play against Real Madrid. I think he’s not, but I also think he will play – Pep Guardiola has no other option but to put him in the starting XI.

In addition to the problems on the right flank, Manchester City also has some worries in the center of the defensive line – center backs Ruben Dias, John Stones, and Nathan Ake are all doubtful for Tuesday’s game.

Real Madrid’s Offense to Take Advantage of the Situation?

Winning the Champions League is Real Madrid’s #1 goal at this point. It’s because their job in Spanish La Liga is practically done. Los Blancos are sitting at the top of the table with 15 points more than the two teams that are just behind – Barcelona and Sevilla.

As there are just five more rounds left, it’s safe to say that Real Madrid has already won the domestic title. The big question is can Los Blancos add another title to the list? Oddsmakers don’t see them as UCL favorites, giving the odds of 8.00. Still, I don’t think anyone should write them off.

It’s because this team’s core is made up of experienced players who know how to win big games like this one. Karim Benzema is their best player, there’s no arguing about that. In fact, many believe Benzema is the best forward in the world right now.

Evidence of this is that he’s scored 12 goals in the Champions League this season, seven of which happened in the playoffs. That puts him just one place behind Lewandowski (13 goals) in the list of UCL scoring leaders. As Bayern is out of the competition, Benzema’s chance of overtaking the #1 spot looks pretty good – oddsmakers are giving 2.10 on Benzema winning the UCL top-scorer award.

The best thing about 2022 Real Madrid is that this team isn’t a one-man army. In addition to Benzema, Los Blancos have plenty of other world-beaters, including Luka Modric, Tony Kroos, and many others.

Manchester City vs. Real Madrid Prediction

Pick
  • Draw
    4.50

For Manchester City, anything but a win on Tuesday would be seen as a failure. But I think they’re going to fail.

Knowing that they got some serious issues in the defense, Manchester City will probably go with a bit more cautious approach to the game. At least that should be the case until late in the game, which is when they might decide to switch up a gear and try to grab themselves a win.

Still, knowing how good Los Blancos are at the back and how lethal their counterattacks are, I don’t think Manchester City will win this game. Instead, a draw seems like the most plausible outcome.

If you agree with me, betting on Manchester City vs. Real Madrid – Draw would be the right thing to do. After all, the odds are 4.50, meaning that you can earn yourself $350 on a $100 bet. I say that’s a fantastic deal!

Zarko Naric

Zarko Naric – the World's Greatest Sportswriter, according to his grandma.

Zarko started writing for GamblingSites.com in 2019, covering sports like soccer, tennis, and basketball,  as well as some more niche sports like cycling, for example.

In addition to writing news, picks, and blog pieces focused on sports, Zarko’s also been covering politics, TV/music contests, and so on.

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