Manchester City vs Real Madrid

A place in the Champions League semi-finals is up for grabs as Manchester City and Real Madrid lock horns in the return leg of their evenly-contested quarter-final tie.

Despite taking an early lead, Manchester City trailed Real Madrid at halftime of an enthralling 3-3 draw in last week’s first leg, boosting their chances of defending their Champions League crown. Their Premier League title defense is also on course after a 5-1 demolition of Luton at the weekend propelled them two points clear at the summit. Buoyed by a 4-0 home win in last season’s semi-final tie against Real Madrid, the Citizens will be out to equal their club record of 42 consecutive home matches without losing. In doing so, Pep Guardiola’s men could become the only side, alongside AC Milan, to crash Los Merengues out of the Champions League knockout stages two years in a row.

In the meantime, Carlo Ancelotti used the weekend clash against Mallorca to rest several key first-team players yet oversaw a 1-0 win that solidified Real Madrid’s grip on another La Liga title. However, the 14-time European Champions are in uncharted territory as they head into proceedings as outsiders after only winning once in their last seven H2Hs (D2, L4). Extending a four-game winning streak in away Champions League games would catapult the Spaniards into their fourth consecutive semi-finals. Achieving that feat will require Los Blancos to defy the history books and post their first-ever victory against Man City on English soil after three straight losses. There will be no shortage of confidence, considering Madrid’s last away defeat within 90 minutes dates back to September 2023.

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