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4.5. CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL BETTING PREVIEW

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19:45 REAL MADRID - MANCHESTER CITY

The first leg of the semi-final between Real Madrid and Manchester City finished in a 0-0 draw after a horrendous game for the neutral. Real's attacking was more than hampered by the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, while Karim Benzema also limped off at half-time. City were a match for Real on the ball, but the injury to David Silva just before half-time seemed to leave City without a key to unlock the Spanish side's steely defence. Now City have to find an answer without Silva, as the attacking midfielder is set to be missing for two to three weeks.

Although the tie is literally 0-0, it would take a monumental effort from City to claim a final spot which would be their first in the competition. Los Blancos have been only defeated twice all season at the Santiago Bernabeu, with those defeats coming at the hands of La Liga powerhouses Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. The Blues managed only two shots on target in the first leg, and it's clear that with a shot count so low it's hard to win a football match. Manuel Pellegrini rested a lot of first-choice players on Sunday, when Southampton thrashed the Blues 4-2. Despite several key players being absent, City's performance was severely lacking and they deserved to go down.

Another depressing piece of news for the City camp was the information from Madrid that Ronaldo and Benzema are both nearing full fitness. Ronaldo has already made a return to full training, while Benzema's involvement on Wednesday will be judged at the last minute. Nevertheless, even the return of Ronaldo to the side would make a huge difference for Real's attack. On City's side Yaya Toure has also made a return to training but remains a doubt for this most crucial of clashes.

The absences of key players on both sides of the equation has made this an interesting tie. If Ronaldo and Benzema are still missing from Real's starting line-up come Wednesday, City just might pull off an away victory. However, Silva's effect on City's attacking play cannot be understated, and penetrating the Spaniards defence isn't an easy task, especially at the Bernabeu. City fans will be looking at Sergio Agüero and Kevin de Bruyne for anwers, although both were expertly nullified at the Etihad Stadium in the first leg.

Since the loss to Atletico Real have played six times at the Bernabeu, with those six matches all bringing a win along with a staggering goal difference of 23-1! Los Blancos have therefore really made their stadium a fortress, so if City manage to claim a spot in the final it would be a big surprise. If everything goes their way it's definitely not out of question, but Silva will be sorely missed and previous performances without him haven't gone well for the Blues.

Real Madrid's last five games:

30.4.2016 Real Sociedad - Real Madrid 0-1

26.4.2016 Manchester City - Real Madrid 0-0

23.4.2016 Vallecano - Real Madrid 2-3

20.4.2016 Real Madrid - Villareal 3-0

16.4.2016 Getafe - Real Madrid 1-5

Manchester City's last five games:

1.5.2016 Southampton - Manchester City 4-2

26.4.2016 Manchester City - Real Madrid 0-0

23.4.2016 Manchester City - Stoke 4-0

19.4.2016 Newcastle - Manchester City 1-1

16.4.2016 Chelsea - Manchester City 0-3

BETTING TIPS:

** 1x2: Real Madrid 13/25 Unibet

 

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