A Champions League showdown for the ages is on the cards today as Real Madrid and Manchester City meet at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Last week’s tussle between the respective champions of England and Spain at the Etihad was an instant classic, with early goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus seeing the hosts race into a 2-0 lead inside 11 minutes.
City could and should have scored a hatful more before the evergreen Ballon d’Or front-runner Karim Benzema reduced the deficit in trademark fashion, with second-half goals from Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva then sandwiched between a sensational Vinicius Junior effort and followed by an outrageous Benzema Panenka penalty that left a thrilling tie brilliantly poised at 4-3.
Despite being ahead, there is a sense of real potential missed opportunity as Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders head to the Bernabeu, where Real are typically so dominant, though very nearly came unstuck in humiliating fashion against Chelsea in the quarter-finals.
Both sides followed up that unforgettable first leg with thumping 4-0 domestic victories at the weekend – City winning at Leeds to regain top spot from Liverpool and Carlo Ancelotti’s Real celebrating clinching their 35th LaLiga title after a demolition of Espanyol.
Either Liverpool or Villarreal await in the final at the Stade de France in Paris on May 28.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Real Madrid vs Manchester City is scheduled for an 12.30 am IST kick-off today, Wednesday May 5, 2022.
The match will take place at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain.
Where to watch Real Madrid vs Manchester City
TV channel: The semi-final second leg will be televised live on Sony TEN 2 and Sony LIV subscription from 11.30pm May 4, 2022.
Manchester City vs Real Madrid team news
City could remain without experienced right-back Kyle Walker, who may not play again this season due to an ankle injury suffered in the quarter-final second leg against Atletico Madrid.
Defensive colleague John Stones will be assessed after remaining sidelined for the win over Leeds, having limped off last week against Madrid – starting at right-back – in the first half.
Guardiola made five changes to his first XI at Elland Road, with Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Bernardo and Riyad Mahrez replaced by Joao Cancelo, Nathan Ake, Ilkay Gundogan, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling.
For Madrid, David Alaba is once again facing a race against time to be fit after recovering from a hamstring injury to start in the first leg, only to suffer a setback and go off at half-time.
Casemiro is now fully fit, but Eden Hazard remains out as he recovers from an ankle operation and Gareth Bale missed the weekend’s title celebrations with back spasms.
Manchester City vs Real Madrid prediction
Based on the first leg, which was more akin to a basketball match, predicting an exact scoreline between these two attacking powerhouses is a fool’s errand.
Last week’s contest was absorbing, chaotic and gloriously eventful, with seven goals scored when in reality it could and should have been well into double figures.
City will be kicking themselves that they couldn’t get the job done last week despite their hatfuls of chances, with Real always managing to somehow hang on and prevail in the end.
This truly could go either way, but we’re backing Guardiola’s men to narrowly progess in another high-octane affair and book a second consecutive final berth.
Man City to win, 3-2.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
Real Madrid’s last victory over Manchester City came back in May 2016, when they advanced to the final in Milan after a Fernando own goal in another semi-final second leg at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid wins: 2
Man City wins: 3