Man City have taken a 2-1 lead from the first leg in Madrid and are in a commanding position to qualify for the quarter-finals. To have any chance of qualifying for the next round Real Madrid need a minimum of two goals. I'll outline below where I feel the value lies.
- Man City will be without Sergio aguero up top but I don't see them being significantly weaker in terms of chance creation and goals.
- Since the restart Man City have played 6 times at the Etihad and won all 6 times outscoring the opposition 24-1
- Their average xG difference for these games was +2.23 per 90. These weren't all important games (title was already lost) and not all were necessarily easy matches. From the 6 game we include games with Arsenal and Liverpool
- From their UCL matches this season we see 2.57 goals scored per 90 with 2.45xG per 90. In defence they've been consistent too with 0.71 goals allowed per 90 and 0.69xGA allowed per 90
- We should also remember that Man City's best CB (Laporte) has only played 33 mins of competitive football in the UCL this season. They'll be stronger with him here.
- In that first leg with Madrid they dominated the chances too (3.04-0.89xG) they also did this without Aguero.
- With the EPL finishing a week later than LaLiga we could also argue that they'll be the slightly sharper of the two in terms of match fitness.
- Real Madrid are without their leader and captain Sergio Ramos, he got himself suspended in the first leg. Militão will likely partner Varane at CB
- Militão has played twice in the UCL this season, once in a 3-0 beating by PSG and against Club Brugge (2-1 win)
- Marcelo is also a serious doubt, Real Madrid perform slightly betting in attack and defence with Marcelo starting at LB compared to Mendy
- Real Madrid's UCL numbers this season are worse than City's for every metric, they have generated 2.14 goals per game (most came against Club Brugge and Galatasaray) and 2.16xG per game.
- If we filter this to games away from the Bernabeu we see just 1.33 goals per game and 1.5xG per game
- In defense they've been average with 1.33 conceded per game away from home with 1.46xGA
- While these numbers are slightly better than last seasons campaign, they are nowhere near as good as their title winning sides in 17/18, 16/17, and 15/16
- Recency bias and Real Madrid title winning season is probably enough to convince some that they have a legitimate chance at qualifying here but I really don't see it.
Man City to win at 1.75 with Pinnacle/Betfair Exchange - 2 units