Manchester City vs Real Madrid preview

November 20, 2012
By: Frank Beresford

Qualifying for the next stage looks a mission impossible for Manchester City at the moment, but Roberto Mancini’s side, nonetheless, aim to try and remain in contention by beating mighty Real Madrid.

Los Blancos only need a point to secure their place in the knockout stages, but a win at Etihad would see them edge closer to winning the first place in the group.

While doing pretty well on domestic stage, where they have finally climbed to the top of the Premier League standings, Manchester City have been far from impressive in Europe.

The Citizens had been placed into a group of death, but their record of two points from four games is, nevertheless, pathetic.

As a result, City are now five and six points adrift of Real and Borussia respectively, but they would have a decent chance of qualifying if they beat los Blancos and Dortmund lose in Amsterdam.

Therefore, this may be the right time to back Manchester City to qualify, at odds of 21.00 (20/1) offered at Coral.

On the other hand, City are 3.30 (23/10) with William Hill to beat their more illustrious opponents and keep their qualifying hopes alive.

Gael Clichy is doubtful through injury, while Mario Balotelli should return into contention, but only to take a place on the bench.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Hart – Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov – Y. Toure, Barry – Silva, Tevez, Nasri – Aguero.

Real Madrid had a very slow start to the season that cost them dearly in La Liga title race, but los Merengues kicked-off their Champions League campaign in style.

After coming from behind to beat Manchester City at Santiago Bernabeu, los Blancos eased off to away victory over Ajax and looked to be cruising towards the first place in the group.

However, Real Madrid were then taught a real lesson in football by Borussia Dortmund and could only take one point from the two clashes against Bundesliga champions, although they were fortunate that Manchester City couldn’t take advantage of their slip-ups.

Los Blancos have since rediscovered their form, beat Levante and Athletic Bilbao, and Paddy Power now has them at 2.25 (5/4) to win at Etihad.

After scoring 19 goals in 18 games this season, Cristiano Ronaldo is 2.10 (11/10) with BetVictor to score against City.

Sami Khedira has returned into action at the weekend and is set to start, whereas Angel Di Maria is also back to the starting line-up. Gonzalo Higuain and Marcelo remain sidelined.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Casillas – Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao – Alonso, Khedira – Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo – Benzema.

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