27 February 2020
Arguably the most highly anticipated fixture on the UEFA Champions League (CL) football schedule takes place at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu this midweek, as Real Madrid take on Manchester City.
The hosts have finished runners-up in Group A, five points adrift of section-toppers PSG, who have inflicted the only European loss on the Madrid outfit so far this term (W3, D2). A 6-0 dismantling of Galatasaray on Matchday 4 was only Real’s third win in their last nine CL home matches (D3, L3), although Los Blancos boast the intimidating 37 wins in their previous 49 CL games at the Santiago Bernabeu. What’s more, the Spanish powerhouse have won three consecutive two-legged ties against the Premier League clubs, including a 1-0 aggregate success against City in 2015/16. Also, before succumbing 3-1 to Tottenham on the road in 2017/18, Real Madrid had put together 12 straight matches without a loss against the English opposition (W8, D4). Their overall home record against the Premier League visitors stands at W8, D6, L2.
As for the visitors, they’ve coasted to the knockout stages, finishing top of Group C with a record of four wins and two draws and a +12 goal difference (GF:16, GA:4). Notably, each of City’s four group-stage successes yielded a multiple-goal margin, with three seeing them score over 1.5 second-half goals. Goal-friendly City’s 4-1 away thumping of Dinamo Zagreb has brought the Citizens’ tally to 30 goals in the last ten CL fixtures. However, to repeat last year’s success of reaching the competition’s quarter-finals, Pep Guardiola’s men will have to defy their club’s disastrous knockout-stage away record against the Spanish hosts (D1, L4). Moreover, the reigning English champions have gone down in seven of their previous ten visits to Spain (W1, D2), with their last trip to the country yielding City’s heaviest CL defeat (4-0 to Barcelona).
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