It has been a target for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City since they joined forces to succeed in the Champions League. With the chance of winning the league again in England, all focus can be directed at achieving the goal. In his way stands an old arch enemy though as Real Madrid welcome “the Citizens” Wednesday evening in the Champions League.
Under the guidance of Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid might not have won as many trophies and Guardiola. They do know how to win the Champions League though. Real Madrid suffered a shock defeat at Levante at the weekend. The defeat meant surrendering top spot in La Liga to FC Barcelona. Not only did they lose the match, but they also seem to have lost Eden Hazard as well. The Belgian picked up an injury is expected to be sidelined for quite some time. Perhaps for most of what remains of the season.
Manchester City has shown character in the wake of their suspension. They come into this clash with two wins in the Premier League. Beating Leicester 1-0 also made it two clean sheets on the spin. With the Premier League title slipping away, Pep Guardiola’s side is expected to push hard for the Champions League title. No matter how hard one pushes there is still a tough opponent to be played. Raheem Sterling was expected to miss this clash, however, there is still a chance he can make it after all.
Real Madrid wobbled through the group stages with unconvincing performances but remain unbeaten in four. Three of those brought a win. Manchester City secured their first place rather early in a strong group. They are unbeaten in seven Champions League matches, winning five of these. 10 of Real Madrid’s last 12 Champions League matches offered at least three goals. They scored the first goal of the match in their last 4 Champions League matches.
They also scored at least two goals in four of their last five Champions League matches. Both teams scored in Manchester City’s last four Champions League matches. Real Madrid only managed clean sheets against Galatasaray in the group stages. Real Madrid comes into this game against Manchester City on the back of two underwhelming performances in La Liga. They will need to show major improvements on those performances to be able to go toe to toe with the English champions.
Both sides have attacking talents by the truckload, but we are still not sure this will be a high scoring encounter. Manchester City’s last four encounters finished 1-0, 2-0, 0-2 or 0-1. At the same time, Real Madrid has played some cautious matches against their strongest opponents in La Liga. We go against the current aim for a rather goal shy encounter.