Real Madrid v Man City: Back Benzema and more goals at the Bernabeu

Paul Higham thinks a Karim Benzema goal is inevitable at the Bernabeu in what should be another thriller between Real Madrid and Man City.

Real reign in Spain again

Real Madrid captured their 35th Spanish league title at the weekend, with a cigar-smoking Carlo Ancelotti collecting the set of titles in all five of Europe's big league.

Now Ancelotti is chasing a fourth Champions League trophy but will have to overcome a one-goal deficit against Man City after that breathless first leg at the Etihad.

Real are a a bit fortunate to still be in the tie given the start City made in Manchester, and they could be without David Alaba in defence for the return, but having Casemiro would be a boost.

It's all about Karim Benzema though, who bagged twice in the first leg and scored his 42nd goal of the season at the weekend, with Vinicius Junior the other big danger down the left.

Man City on another Madrid mission

Just like in the last round, Pep Guardiola takes his side to Madrid sitting on a one-goal lead - although this promises to be the polar opposite of their tetchy second leg against Atletico.

Real Madrid have the firepower but City have plenty of goal threat, and are masters of the fast start after going 2-0 up after just 11 minutes in the first leg.

A similar start could end this contest before it's begun, and City have a smart record of nine wins from the last 10 knockout ties they've won the first leg in.

Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva were on the bench at Leeds at the weekend and both will be key men for City - and while Gabriel Jesus played 90 minutes at Elland Road, his fine record against them may get him another start.

City favourites and surely more goals

Man City are just 1.2 to qualify after their first leg lead, with Real Madrid 4.3 to get through somehow and 3.25 to win on the night.

The draw is 3.9 and will do nicely for City.

After Real beat Chelsea in extra time at the Bernabeu, and with just one goal the difference, 8.0 for either team to win in extra time shouldn't be ruled out completely.

City have a better team though and with their squad they should be able to beat anybody with a one-goal lead.

Both teams to score is a short price at 1.47 but after watching them both in the first leg seems an almost certainty, and while there shouldn't be seven goals again, over 3.5 goals at 2.3 seems fair.

Back Benzema to bag yet again

Karim Benzema just looks inevitable at the moment and is cemeting his place as a true Real Madrid great with another fantastic scoring season - including nine Champions League knockout goals.

He bagged hat-tricks against PSG at home and Chelsea away, and with a goal he would become just the fourth player to score in both legs of the quarter-final and semi-final in a season, after Fernando Morientes (2003-04, Monaco), Neymar (2014-15, Barcelona) and Edin Dzeko (2017-18, Roma).

At 2.3 to score anytime here, Benzema will be a popular bet on his own and also added to Bet Builders and result/scorer doubles.

Vinicius Junior is 3.3 to score as he did at the Etihad, and 4.5 for an assist - as he did for Benzema's winner against Chelsea. He's created 29 chances in the competition this season, which is the most for a Real Madrid player in a decade.

Ferland Mendy could be the outside bet here though at 8.5 for an assist as he had two at the Etihad last week - especially if John Stones has to play right-back again.


It's all about Kevin De Bruyne for City, who has 18 Champions League assists and both scored and assisted in the first leg.

After being rested at the weekend, he's 2.8 for an assist here and 3.6 for a goal, or to include in more cautious Bet Builders he's 1.91 to score or assist.

He can be backed at 10.0 to both score and assist as he did in the first leg thanks to an OddsBoost on the Sportsbook.

It should be another belting contest with City tipped to get through but with the only near certainty being that we'll see goals once again.

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