Following last week’s 3-3 draw at the Santiago Bernabéu, this huge UEFA Champions League quarter-final remains in the balance. We look ahead to Wednesday’s second leg with our Manchester City vs Real Madrid prediction and preview.

Manchester City vs Real Madrid Stats: The Quick Hits

  • Champions League holders Manchester City are backed to clinch a semi-final spot on Wednesday, beating Real Madrid in 53.7% of the Opta supercomputer’s match simulations.
  • Madrid have only progressed from two of 10 Champions League knockout ties when failing to win the first leg at home, with both instances coming against Manchester United.
  • The last five Champions League meetings between City and Madrid have produced a total of 23 goals, at an average of 4.6 per game.

Match Preview

It was a very good weekend for Manchester City. They thrashed Luton Town 5-1 to go top of the Premier League on Saturday, while home defeats for Liverpool and Arsenal on Sunday saw Pep Guardiola’s team’s chances of staying there for the duration jump from 40.6% to 70.1%, according to the Opta supercomputer.

Their next step on the road to potential back-to-back trebles comes in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday as they bid to eliminate Real Madrid for a second season running and cement their status as favourites for another European crown.

City fell just short of leaving the Santiago Bernabéu with a statement victory in last week’s first leg, with Federico Valverde’s late volley capping the scoring in a thrilling 3-3 draw. City had previously led 1-0 and 3-2 courtesy of long-range strikes from Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol.

Real Madrid 3-3 Manchester City Timeline

Despite failing to take a lead back to the Etihad Stadium, City will still fancy their chances of advancing, with Madrid only progressing from two of their previous 10 Champions League knockout ties after failing to win the first leg at home. Both of those instances did occur in Manchester, though, with Los Blancos eliminating Manchester United in the 1999-00 quarter-finals and in the 2012-13 round of 16.

Guardiola’s men have been here before, however, routing Madrid 4-0 at the Etihad in last year’s semi-finals following a 1-1 first-leg draw in Spain. They could become just the second team to eliminate Madrid from the European Cup/Champions League in successive campaigns, after Milan did so in 1988-89 (semi-finals) and 1989-90 (round of 16), with the Rossoneri going on to lift the trophy in both seasons.

Bernardo Silva netted twice in that game last May, and after opening the scoring with a clever free-kick last week, he has four goals in seven career games against Madrid. Among all teams he has faced at least five times with City, only versus Watford (115) does he have a better minutes-per-goal ratio than he does against the Spanish giants (144).

Silva was one of several players to be rested against Luton, joining Kyle Walker, Jack Grealish, Rodri and Foden as an unused substitute. Foden will surely return to the lineup on Wednesday and has scored in each of his last five Champions League starts, the joint-longest run recorded by a City player in the competition, with Sergio Agüero enjoying an identical streak between February 2018 and March 2019.

City have no new selection concerns, with first-choice goalkeeper Ederson returning from a muscle injury to start against Luton, while John Stones could feature after missing Saturday’s game with a knock.

While City approach the second leg as favourites, they will know Madrid cannot be written off in this competition, having memorably squandered a 5-3 aggregate lead against them in the 2021-22 semi-finals.

On that occasion, it was two last-gasp goals from Rodrygo that forced extra-time and allowed Carlo Ancelotti’s team to complete the turnaround, and the Brazilian was on target against City again last week. He has scored three goals against the Citizens in the Champions League’s knockout stages, with only former teammate Karim Benzema netting more (four).

Rodrygo missed Saturday’s 1-0 win over Mallorca in La Liga after suffering a knock, though he has been named in Madrid’s travelling party. Ancelotti has another major selection dilemma, however, with Aurélien Tchouaméni suspended after being booked in the first leg. As a result, Nacho and Éder Militão are competing to partner Antonio Rüdiger at centre-back.

Ancelotti is likely to keep faith with Toni Kroos and Eduardo Camavinga in midfield, and the former’s experience could be key to navigating a challenging evening at the Etihad. Kroos has completed 95% of his passes under high-intensity pressure in the Champions League this season (259/273), the most of any midfielder in the competition.

Madrid are known for their remarkable resilience on the biggest stage and City will have to be on their guard throughout. Despite falling behind on two separate occasions in the first leg, Madrid trailed for just 18 minutes in the match. Overall, they have only been behind for 43 minutes and 48 seconds in the Champions League this season, the shortest cumulative period of any team in the competition.

Manchester City vs Real Madrid Head-to-Head

Whatever the result may be on Wednesday, expect plenty of goalmouth action. The last five Champions League meetings between the teams have produced a total of 23 goals, at an average of 4.6 per game.

In two of those five matches, the opening goal has been scored within the first two minutes, with Kevin De Bruyne netting after one minute and 34 seconds in April 2022 and Silva scoring after one minute and 49 seconds last Tuesday.

Man City have won each of their last three home games against Madrid, each of which have come under Guardiola in this competition (2-1 in 2020, 4-3 in 2022 and 4-0 in 2023).

The only previous coach to win four consecutive home Champions League matches against Madrid is Ottmar Hitzfeld, who did so while in charge of Bayern Munich between 2000 and 2002.

Wednesday’s game will be the eighth to pit Guardiola and Ancelotti against one another in the Champions League, and the sixth with the duo in charge of their current clubs. The only pairs of managers to face each other more than eight times in the competition are Alex Ferguson and Hitzfeld, and Ancelotti and Jürgen Klopp (nine teams each).

Recent Form

Saturday’s win over Luton stretched City’s unbeaten home run to 41 games across all competitions (35 wins, six draws), one shy of their club-record streak of 42 matches, set between 1919 and 1921.

Wednesday’s game will be City’s 200th in major European competition, with their 113 wins to date as many as Madrid managed through their first 200 continental matches.

Should the Citizens win, they will have the joint third-most victories of any club through their first 200 European games, after Ajax (118) and Juventus (115), and level with Liverpool (114).

Madrid, meanwhile, are unbeaten in 90 minutes in their last 37 games, since a 3-1 loss to Atlético Madrid in La Liga last September (27 wins). Their 10 draws in this run include going to extra-time against Atléti on two occasions, winning in the Supercopa de España and losing in the Copa del Rey.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off at the Etihad, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Manchester City vs Real Madrid Predicted Lineups

Man City predicted lineup vs Real MAdrid Champions League
Real Madrid predicted lineup v Man City

Manchester City vs Real Madrid Prediction

The Opta supercomputer gives City the edge for this heavyweight clash, with the hosts winning 53.7% of 10,000 match simulations conducted ahead of kick-off.

Madrid are given a 23.1% chance of winning in 90 minutes, while 23.2% of scenarios saw the tie go to extra-time with a draw.

The supercomputer assigns City a 64.9% chance of progressing overall, to Madrid’s 35.1%. The champions are clear favourites to retain their crown in our tournament predictions, doing so in 31.1% of simulations.

UEFA Champions League Predictions Opta

Despite the daunting task awaiting them on Wednesday, Madrid are still third favourites with a 15% chance of winning a 15th European crown, and that figure will surely skyrocket if they dump City out.

Man City v Real Madrid Opta prediction

Manchester City vs Real Madrid UCL Squads

Manchester City: Stefan Ortega, Ederson, Scott Carson, Kyle Walker, Rúben Dias, John Stones, Nathan Aké, Sergio Gómez, Joško Gvardiol, Manuel Akanji, Rico Lewis, Mateo Kovačić, Jack Grealish, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Matheus Nunes, Phil Foden, Erling Haaland, Jérémy Doku, Oscar Bobb, Julián Álvarez.

Head Coach: Pep Guardiola

Real Madrid: Thibaut Courtois, Kepa, Andriy Lunin, Lucas Cañizares, Diego Piñeiro, David Alaba, Nacho, Dani Carvajal, Antonio Rüdiger, Ferland Mendy, Éder Militão, Fran García, Álvaro Carrillo, Vinícius Tobias, Jacobo Ramón, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Lucas Vázquez, Dani Ceballos, Brahim Díaz, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Federico Valverde, Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, Arda Güler, Nico Paz, Mario Martín, Joselu, Vinícius Júnior, Rodrygo, Gonzalo García

Head Coach: Carlo Ancelotti

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