Real Madrid vs Man City predictions: Another Bernabeu thriller on the cards
After producing a seven-goal classic during last week's meeting at the Etihad, Real Madrid and Manchester City will lock horns in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie at the Bernabeu tonight.
City will head to the Spanish capital holding a narrow advantage after goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva helped them to a 4-3 home victory. However, Pep Guardiola's side arguably could have won by more.
A brace from Karim Benzema — which included an audacious Panenka penalty — either side of a strike from Vinicius Junior enabled Real to remain on the coattails of their opponents heading into the second leg and another entertaining encounter could be on the cards in Madrid.
Real warmed up for the match by claiming a 4-0 home victory over Espanyol in LaLiga on Saturday to wrap up the Spanish title with four games to spare.
City ran out winners by the same scoreline at Leeds but unlike Los Blancos, Guardiola's men still have plenty of work to do in the Premier League title race, as they remain just a point clear of Liverpool at the top of the standings.
The main injury concern for Real in the build-up to the match is surrounding defender David Alaba, who was rushed back for last week's first leg following a muscle issue and was subsequently forced off at half-time.
Alaba also sat out the weekend victory over Espanyol, but head coach Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful the Austria international will be available to face the Citizens.
Benzema, Vinicius, Toni Kroos and Ferland Mendy were all rested at the weekend and will be expected to return to the starting XI, while Rodrygo will be hoping to keep his place after netting a brace against Espanyol.
City will be boosted by the return of Joao Cancelo, who was suspended for the first leg, although fellow full-back Kyle Walker remains troubled with an ankle issue.
Nathan Ake and John Stones are also struggling with knocks, although Guardiola will be able to call upon De Bruyne, Silva and Riyad Mahrez, who were left out of the starting line-up against Leeds.
Match stats and facts
Real are the record 13-time European champions and they have already proven their ability to overturn a first-leg deficit in this season's Champions League, doing so against Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16.
However, Los Blancos have never reached the final of Europe's premier club competition after losing the first leg of a semi-final — a record they will be desperate to reverse this evening.
City certainly do not have their opponents' European pedigree, but Guardiola's side are potentially just 90 minutes away from reaching a second Champions League final on the bounce.
Recent history also favours the Citizens in this fixture, as they have won the last three meetings between the two sides.
Guardiola has also seen his team win each of their last four matches across all competitions, while he will be encouraged by Chelsea's victory over Real at the Bernabeu last month.
The hosts cannot be underestimated though, especially when it comes to scoring goals, as they have netted in each of their last 16 Champions League matches on home soil.
It is hard to believe this match will not follow a similar pattern to last week's first leg, with goals almost certain to be on the agenda.
Real have netted in 13 of their last 14 matches across all competitions, while their ongoing scoring run in home Champions League games stretches back to December 2018.
Only Bayern Munich (31) have netted more goals in this season's Champions League than City (28), while the Citizens have struck 16 times across their last four matches in all competitions.
Both teams to score certainly seems a likely outcome, as that has happened in six of Real's last eight fixtures and three of City's previous five.
The last three meetings between these two great clubs have also seen both teams score, so while picking a winner on the night is not easy, there should certainly be plenty of entertainment along the way.