Betting tips & odds comparison 26.02.2020 Real Madrid CF - Manchester City FC
Betting Tip for matchday 1 of the 2019/2020 Champions League between Real Madrid CF and Manchester City FC. The game will be played at Santiago Bernabéu (Madrid, Spain) on 26.02.2020 at 21:00.
The departure of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo was always going to usher in a difficult transition period at the Madrid based outfit. In their first season without the Portuguese forward, they struggled in this competition, enduring a humiliating end to their bid for a fourth straight Champions League crown, when they were thrashed 4-1 by a then up and coming Ajax team at this very stage of the competition last year.
They subsequently signed Chelsea’s talented Belgian winger Eden Hazard last summer in a bid to try and fill part of that void. It took him a while to find his magical touch and just as he was finding his scoring boots and showing much of the promise that led the club to ear mark him as Ronaldo’s successor, they were dealt a massive blow when he suffered a broken ankle at Ciutat de Valencia and has now been ruled out possibly until the end of the season.
This injury appears to have thrown a spanner into the quest for the domestic title and is threatening to unravel their entire season. They drew 2-2 at home Celta Vigo and lost 1-0 at Levante in their last two La Liga fixtures to all but surrender top spot to arch rivals Barcelona, who they will host in this Sunday’s El Classico.
Zinedine Zidane is nevertheless a tactical master in this competition, having won all 12 Champions League ties he has been involved in as Real Madrid manager, with three trophies to show for it. Real Madrid are also the most decorated club in the competition with 13 titles, and to demonstrate their stranglehold in the competition, they have appeared in four of the last six finals – an incredible feat by any measure.
Zidane will look beyond the injury concerns. New sensation Vinicius Junior, Isco and Rodrygo will be battling it out for chance to partner Benzema upfront. Marco Asensio is the only other notable absentee so the coach will have a relatively good list of savvy veterans and exciting youngsters to choose from as Los Bloncos set out to take control of the tie.
With the threat of expulsion from the competition hanging over their heads like the Sword of Damocles, pending determination of the appeal they are set to file at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the Blues realize that this campaign possibly presents for them, the best chance to win the continent’s most prestigious club competition for the next couple of years.
The news of the ban, while devastating, does not seem to have gravely affected their performance on the pitch. They have won two straight games since then, 2-0 at home to West Ham and a hard fought 1-0 away win to one of this season’s surprise package Leicester over the weekend to basically cement their second place position in the Premier League in what is now largely a formality with leaders Liverpool virtually out of reach following a scintillating season where they are poised to smash all sorts of Premier League records.
While the Citizens have been utterly outclassed and forced to play second fiddle to Liverpool for virtually the entirety of the this season’s EPL campaign, Pep Guardiola’s side have a real shot at making a deep run in Europe. In spite of the wealth of attacking talent they have had over the years, particularly in the last few years, they have struggled to impress in this competition, with their best performance coming las year when they narrowly lost to fellow English team Tottenham in a dramatic semi-final tie. They felt aggrieved at some of the refereeing decisions then and have regrouped to get over the last hurdle this time around.
As expected, the cruised through a relatively easy Group C, finishing a whooping seven points clear of second placed Atalanta. They comfortably won away to Shakhtar and Dinamo Zagreb and drew at Atalanta with a weakened squad after securing passage to this stage with a couple of games to spare. These are however nowhere close to the challenge posed at the home of the most successful team in the competition history.
Guardiola squad rotations have been hard to predict but he is likely to spearhead his attack with Sergio Aguero despite his recent struggles. Raheem Sterling who has not featured in the last few games appears to have recovered in time for this clash. Leroy Sane may still be unavailable but is close to a return.
Possible Line Ups
|Real Madrid||Manchester City|
|Injured: Asensio, Díaz, Hazard and Sane|
With the caliber of attacking players that will grace the Bernabeu tonight for both teams, we expect to see an exciting open-ended game that will present both teams with plenty of opportunities to score. BTTS @ 1.60 looks like a sure banker here.
The loss of Hazard to injury is likely to be felt and with the quality and depth of players within the City ranks, we expect they will dominate the midfield and are likely to get a favorable result here. We are backing them to Score Over 1.5 goals @ 2.08.
Sergio Aguero is a man for the big occasion. He is relatively familiar with this pitch from his days at cross town rivals Atletico. We expect him to end his four-game goal drought here. Aguero to score Anytime @2.13 is therefore our final betting tip for this game.