Real Madrid v Man City – Betting Preview
The outrights markets often provide us with a lot of nonsense to laugh about every Champions League season that passes.
But as soon as the Round of 16 teams were defined, and the post-World Cup scenario became very clear, 3 teams became protagonists of that market with the lowest odds out there: Man City, Real Madrid and FC Bayern.
Bayern Münich made some defensive mistakes that ended up having a huge price tag. It cost them the qualification against The Citizens, but when it comes to the offensive part of the game, there were a lot of German merits there.
It’s fair to say that whichever club that qualifies for the final from this semi-final playoff will be the favourite to lift the 2022/23 UCL trophy.
Man City and Real Madrid have different virtues and different things going against their goals right now.
Real Madrid: Tradition and Tranquillity
Carletto Ancelotti is, above all, a calm guy. If he’s mad, you know he means business and something is truly wrong.
This personality trait of Carlo translates and resonates with what only Real Madrid means to this tournament: tradition. A number of titles that other clubs can only dream of achieving in this lifetime.
This tradition, alongside with an incredible capacity to fight back problematic scores that was historical in the past season gives them confidence. A lot of confidence.
The main problems for Real Madrid right now are some squad depth issues, especially in the defence and when Benzema is absent. Los Blancos are a bit too dependent on the regular line of 4, any line-up involving Nacho is never as strong as the one with Carvajal, Militão, Alaba and Camavinga or Mendy.
Manchester City: The Pressure for Their First UCL Trophy
I believe after the first UCL trophy, Man City has all it takes to become a powerhouse in the competition. Haaland became a historical player at EPL level in his first season. He’s always a tower, a magnet attracting the attention of defenders, a man hard to beat physically, always there for a header, and even assists, as he’s ranking in the top 10 of players with the most assists in the EPL 2022/23 as well as being the top scorer of the English Premier League.
Did Man City improve that much? Are they good enough to finally beat legendary Real Madrid and face an Italian club in the final?
This is where football becomes amazingly romantic and magically interesting. In theory, the odds and numbers should translate the crazy stats of Man City. They should also take into account that Real Madrid failed to be a consistent opponent to Barça at the domestic level, and Barça is now one of the worst versions of the Catalan side in their history. The problem is simple: a lot of the issues of Real Madrid had to do with motivation. They simply seemed not to be focusing on games that were… not that relevant.
Man City will face their own demons when it comes to the pressure for this trophy. I guess the pinnacle of this phenomenon was the loss against Chelsea when their domestic rivals won the trophy in spite of having 4 to 1 chances of winning the game. The fact that everyone believes in City… somehow becomes a spell against their fortunes.
Also, whenever Carletto wisely tried to rest the old but efficient legs of Modric or Benzema, things easily went south. Carvajal and Kroos were also hard to replace.
But today, Real Madrid will care. And that can be amazingly hard to translate as prices (odd) before the kickoff. I recommend following the game live, and then, and only then see if anything in the betting markets makes sense.
Betting Analysis: Pre-match scenario
As explained above, Real Madrid can be tricky to translate as odds. Last weekend I predicted that Osasuna +1.5 @1.95 was likely to be an Asian Handicap winner in the Copa del Rey final, because Real Madrid would only need a goal to win, and Osasuna would just care more about that CDR trophy.
The result was this: RM lifted yet another CDR trophy, but Osasuna delivered a profit of 95% to AH bettors. Funny how the markets work, right?