Monday, May 23, 2022

Real Madrid vs. Manchester City predictions, Champions League odds: Benzema, Modric face tall comeback task

The UEFA Champions League semifinals will wrap up on Wednesday as Real Madrid and Manchester City play their second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu. If this clash is anything like the first leg, then fans are in store for another blessing from the soccer gods. The first leg in Manchester last week ended with City winning 4-3, but Karim Benzema’s brace has Los Blancos firmly in the tie with both sides needing improvements in defense.

Here’s our predictions for this match, how to watch and more:

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Wednesday’s broadcast schedule

Manchester City vs. Real Madrid

Date: Wednesday, May 4 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | TV and live stream: CBS and Paramount+

Location: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu — Madrid, Spain

Studio coverage: Kate Abdo, Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards

Commentators: Clive Tyldesley and Rob Green

On-site reporters: Peter Schmeichel, Jules Breach and Guillem Balagué

Odds: Real Madrid +230; Draw +280; Man City +106; O/U: 3.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)  

Featured Game | Real Madrid vs. Manchester City

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One matchup to watch: Luka Modric vs. City midfield. Modric was a tad quiet in the first leg and never really got to get on the ball to create how he would have liked. He was unable to produce a single chance. Expect that to change here as we can envision him to be on the ball more. And it’s not just for the sake of creativity, either. Real Madrid need to possess the ball and keep it from City after they had nearly 60 percent possession in the first leg. 

Most likely to score: Karim Benzema. He scored twice in the first leg and has been unstoppable as of late. Make no mistake that King Karim will have to come up big again for Real to get through. Unless he scores one or two, Real probably don’t have much of a chance. Expect the Frenchman to be everywhere, tormenting Ederson, moving into the middle at times, checking to the ball and trying to kick-start the attack. He will, as always, have his chances.

Man of the Match pick: Phil Foden. I think the young English star ends the tie with a goal or an assist, weaving through the inconsistent Real Madrid defense to do so. He is, to me, the best young player in all of England, and he has earned the right to start this match.

Match prediction: Real Madrid 2, Manchester City 2. Another flurry of goals, but City do enough to avoid extra time and advance to back-to-back finals.

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