Manchester City have a tough test against Real Madrid in the Champions League
The Spanish manager has won several trophies in his time at the Etihad, but the European crown remains elusive. On Tuesday, the Cityzens will continue their bid to be crowned European champions when they host Real Madrid in a mouthwatering semifinal clash.
Both teams currently top their domestic leagues, but a home and away tie is always very dicey. Whoever gets it right on the day is likely to claim the advantage going into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu in a week’s time.
Cityzens are slight favourites
Ordinarily, Real Madrid should be favourites for this game due to their superior European pedigree than City. Los Blancos have won the European Cup a record 13 times and have reached the last four on 31 occasions.
Manchester City, meanwhile, have only played in one European final – losing to Chelsea last season. They will be playing in just their third UEFA Champions League semi-final.
Nevertheless, the Cityzens are not underdogs for this tie. They are slight favourites, and playing at home puts them in a more advantageous position. Guardiola’s side has also shown that they can dig deep when required. That was evident in their adoption of a conservative style during their quarterfinal clash against Atletico Madrid.
Real Madrid are a stronger side than Atletico, but they’re very beatable Manchester City will be encouraged by how Chelsea ran the Blancos close in the previous round.
Manchester City’s ultimate European test
It has been a frustrating last few years for Manchester City and their fans, as the club continues to wait for its first European trophy.
Despite investing millions into their squad, the Cityzens have fallen short every season. The positive, though, is that they are currently close to ending that drought than ever.
However, getting the better of Real Madrid won’t come easy. This clash is bound to test whether City have come of age to finally win the UEFA Champions League.
“They (Real Madrid) have been here many times,” Guardiola noted in his pre-match press conference, as quoted by ESPN. “The history is there, and we cannot change it, but it’s 11 vs. 11. The players will decide. We are playing a team who have been here many times, that is why they have this — and we don’t.
“We can’t imagine what is going to happen, but it is 11 vs. 11. Move players, how strong they are mentally; that will make the difference. Carlo (Ancelotti) and myself won’t win it. Players are the reason why.”
No team can win the UEFA Champions League without facing the best teams in Europe. As things stand, City will have to go through Real Madrid and must do everything they can to win their first title in the competition.