UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid v Man City
Manchester City start their second Champions League campaign against the side who have lifted the European cup on nine occasions tonight, but this could be an opportune time to play the Madrid giants.
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Mourinho has endured his worst league start to a season in his last ten years as a manager (with just a single win, a draw and two defeats) and with Ronaldo threatening to kick-off at any moment all is not rosy in the Real camp. Madrid thumped Sevilla 6-2 last season, but suffered a 1-0 reverse in their last La Liga game to the Seville side. Mourinho admitted after the game that he would have substituted seven of his players, if allowed; such was the level of performance.
In his Champions League press conference on Monday, Mourinho was keen to play down his more piercing comments and took responsibility for his teams recent performances. Madrid’s only win of the season came against Granada at home, but it was a timid atmosphere. Ronaldo failed to celebrate after scoring and the atmosphere at the Bernebau was muted throughout.
Man City couldn’t have asked for a better time to face Real, and despite their own stuttering form in the Premier League their forward line should create chances tonight. Mancini’s side have conceded six in their opening four games, which will have to improve tonight if they are to get a result.
Javi Garcia will be facing his former club if he starts tonight and the Spanish international looked excellent on his Premier League bow against Stoke. The 25-year-old played 18 times for Madrid, in two separate spells, before finally finding a regular starting berth at Benfica. If the rumoured fee of £15 million is correct, City have grabbed a bargain, and the combatative midfielder is a superior upgrade on departed Nigel de Jong. Back him to score first at 40/1 with Betfair here.
Sergio Aguero has made the flight out to Madrid despite doubts over his fitness and the former Atletico Madrid man would dearly love to score against Real. Despite United splashing the cash for RVP, I would still argue that City have the strongest strike force in the league and will ask questions of Real.
Tevez has a point to prove back in the Champions League and despite a severe absence of game time, Edin Dzeko has goals in him. Both teams will be nervy and neither are in good form. Lots of people are backing both teams to score, but at 8/11 there isn’t much value in this. It’ll be close, 1-0 to City looks tempting at a massive 23/1.