- Real Madrid v Manchester City
- Tuesday May 9, 2023, 13:00 ET
- At the Estadio Bernabeu
Manchester City is a strong favorite to overcome Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, but Real is a good pick to earn a first leg win.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks we can see that they are indicating a Manchester City victory in the first leg of the UCL semi-finals. Bettors favor City significantly at around +120, while the home team is rated as a +220 chance and the draw is the underdog at between +248 and +268.
|Real Madrid v Manchester City|
UCL Betting Briefing
The UEFA Champions League remains the most prestigious international club soccer tournament in the world and this year’s edition has produced four of the biggest names in world soccer battling for a place in the final, which will be held at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul on 06-10-2023.
This year’s semi-finals feature the two most successful teams in the history of this competition. Real Madrid was the inaugural winner of the tournament, in 1956, when it was known as the European Cup, and has won it on 14 occasions in all, including last season, while Milan has seven victories in its trophy cabinet, although the last was in 2007. Internazionale has three successes to its name, the latest coming in 2010, and Manchester City, famously, has never won this trophy.
Clubs from Spain, Germany or England have won the last 12 editions of the Champions League, but this year, we are guaranteed an Italian team in the final, which hasn’t happened since 2017, perhaps reflective of a growing resurgence in Italian soccer.
Real Madrid v Manchester City, 05-09-23
Two of the oldest and best-known clubs in European football once again lock horns over two legs, but while the names may be famous, the European records of these two teams could not be more different.
Real is the 14-time champion, having featured in 17 finals of the European Cup or Champions League, while Manchester City has only reached the final once, and has never won it. That record is slightly less surprising when you remember that City has only relatively recently joined the top table of European giants, thanks to the massive investment of its Qatari owners.
The last two encounters between these teams have produced plenty of goals. In 2020, a COVID-19-interrupted tournament saw City win 4-2 on aggregate, while last year’s semi-final produced a 6-5 aggregate win for Real in a tie that was full of drama.
Domestically, Real has lost ground to Barcelona, while City is surging toward yet another Premier League title, but success in England has not yet translated into European glory for Pep Guardiola’s men and he must once again pit his wits against Carlo Ancelotti, the tournament’s most successful manager.
Given that Real has not quite reached the same standards as last season and that City is hitting top form, the Premier League team is rightly the favorite over the two legs, but it looks too short for the first game at the Bernabeu. Real has only lost twice at home in all competitions this season, and at these odds, it represents an excellent bet to win this first leg.
Milan v Internazionale, 05-10-2023
In Italian football only Juventus can claim to have the same stature as these two grand old clubs, and this semi-final clash is made even more fascinating by the element of local rivalry, with both legs being played at the San Siro, the famous old ground that is home to both teams.
This is not the first time they have met in the Champions League. They faced off in the quarterfinals in 2002 and in the semi-finals two years later and Milan won on both occasions, but in the 2023 Serie A, the rivalry is a lot closer, though both teams have been overtaken by Napoli.
Both teams have had to do it the hard way in this competition. Both finished second in their respective Groups, and both had to fight hard to come through tough knockout rounds. Milan ground out a 2-1 aggregate win over Napoli in its quarter-final, while Internazionale scraped through 1-0 against Porto in the Round of 16, though it comfortably disposed of Benfica in the last eight.
Domestically, both Serie A fixtures went to the home team, by one goal on each occasion, although there was a 3-0 Supercoppa Italiana win for Internazionale in Riyadh in January. This fixture, however, is on a different scale and the pressure on both teams will be immense.
Stefano Pioli’s Milan has a distinct identity and the way that it ground down Tottenham Hotspur in the Round of 16 before doing the same to Napoli in the quarterfinals indicates that if Internazionale is going to win here, it will have to do so the hard way. This is a fiendishly tough game to call, but the one thing we can probably count on is a defensive and cautious approach from both teams, so going low in the Total Goals market looks the best pick.