Real Madrid vs Man City prediction, odds, betting tips and best bets for Champions League semifinal 1st leg
The UEFA Champions League semifinals have arrived, bringing a blockbuster clash between defending champions Real Madrid and tournament favourites Man City, with the first leg at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.
It's a gargantuan matchup between two European powerhouse clubs. Man City are not only considered the side most likely to win the Champions League, but they are in position to win a treble. (They also lead the Premier League table and will play in England's FA Cup final.)
Real Madrid, meanwhile, have had an inconsistent season with sloppy La Liga performances juxtaposed against Champions League and Copa del Rey success. Los Blancos hoisted the Spanish domestic cup just three days ago, giving them a taste of success during a run of poor league form.
Now Europe's greatest prize is within reach for both clubs in this semifinal. Real Madrid have won the Champions League more than any other club and have shown a special affinity for the competition over the years, while Man City continue to pursue their elusive first Champions League crown that Pep Guardiola has coveted since arriving at the Etihad.
The Sporting News football betting expert Kyle Bonn shares his best bets, props, and high risk/high return fliers for some of the biggest matches in the sport each week. Since the start of 2023, his best bets have hit 51.4% of the time thus far. He has also correctly predicted 54 of 111 match outcomes via his three-way moneyline leans to date.
Real Madrid vs Man City odds
Manchester City are considered the powerhouse of this competition, and with Real Madrid looking so shaky domestically, the visiting English side is seen as a near even-money favourite on the road in Spain.
Goals are expected, but maybe not as much as one might anticipate considering the attacking talent between these two sides and Real Madrid's defensive struggles of late. That's likely due to the thinking that first-leg matchups in these heavyweight clashes are usually lower scoring, with both teams looking to survive and retain a fighting chance for the second meeting.
|Real Madrid |
|Draw||Man City |
|Both teams |
to score Y / N
|Over / Under |
|Real Madrid |
|+225||+250||+115||-185 / +125||-155 / +110||+225||-350|
|+240||+245||+102||-187 / +118||-154 / +111||—||—|
|11/5||13/5||11/10||8/15, 11/8||8/13, 6/5||9/4||1/3|
|3.15||3.50||2.15||1.53 / 2.38||1.64 / 2.15||3.00||1.36|
|3.14||3.66||2.09||1.57 / 2.30||1.67 / 2.20||3.15||1.34|
Real Madrid vs Man City match facts
- Date: Tuesday, May 9
- Kickoff Time: 3 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. BST / 5 a.m. AEST (Wed, May 10)
- Location: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu (Madrid, Spain)
- Official: Artur Dias (POR)
- Last meeting: Real Madrid 3-1 Man City (May 4, 2022 | UEFA Champions League semifinal)
Real Madrid vs Man City team news
The only player missing from the Real Madrid squad is Eder Militao who has been suspended for this match due to yellow card accumulation, having been booked in the quarterfinal second leg against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. While there are no other squad concerns, it is important to keep in mind that Carlo Ancelotti has attempted to manage the minutes of Karim Benzema all season long, and while normally he's given the Frenchman the weekend off before big Champions League matches, he had to deploy Benzema on Saturday in the Copa del Rey final, so his fitness will be something to monitor closely during the match.
Manchester City are similarly at full strength, with only Nathan Ake's hamstring injury a concern, but even the Dutchman could be available. Young midfielder Cole Palmer is out with an ankle injury, but he was not expected to play a role here with City's squad at near-full strength. Otherwise, manager Pep Guardiola has his entire complement of stars at his disposal, with Kevin De Bruyne having recovered from his recent fitness concerns.
MORE: Updated Premier League table with title, Champions League, and relegation race breakdowns
Real Madrid vs Man City key stats
- No English club has ever won at Real Madrid more than once in their history. Man City could become the first, having emerged from the Bernabeu victorious back in the 2019/20 Round of 16 by a 2-1 final, advancing past Los Blancos to the quarterfinals on that occasion.
- The last four matches between these two clubs have seen 17 goals scored between the two sides, or 4.25 per game.
- Carlo Ancelotti has lost eight of his 10 all-time matches against Manchester City, by far his worst record against any club he's matched up against at least 10 times. He only has more defeats to five other clubs, and he's matched up against those five clubs at least 19 times.
Real Madrid vs Man City prediction
- Moneyline lean: Draw (+250)
- Score prediction: Real Madrid 2-2 Man City
Even considering that first-leg matchups usually fail to produce the expected goal output, it's hard to imagine these two teams not going right at each others' throats.
In each of the last two first-leg matchups between these two sides, goals flowed, with a 2-1 Man City win at this very venue in 2019/20, while they played to a wild 4-3 result in last season's semifinal first leg.
Given that this match will be on a knife's edge, both sides would likely be happy to escape with a draw, and therefore by far the best value is on that moneyline selection. Man City would be happy to bring a level scoreline back home to the Etihad, while Real Madrid know they're the underdogs and would also be content to play for a spot in the final in the next match.
Real Madrid vs Man City best bet
- Pick: Half with most goals — 2H
- Odds: -105 (BetMGM)
While these two teams are expected to produce goals, there should be a lid on things in the first half. Two attacking sides going at each other will often produce an electric affair, but understanding this is a first leg, there should be some sense of caution through at least the first 45 minutes.
Across the last four matches these two teams have played, 12 of 17 goals have been scored after the break, including all four the last time these two teams matched up.
Additionally, these two sides have been wildly skewed towards the second half in Champions League play this season. Both teams have scored 17 second-half goals in Europe this year, which is tied for the most of any club. Madrid have scored 68 percent of their Champions League goals after the break, while Man City have scored 65 percent, both ranking in the top seven of clubs with at least 10 UCL goals.
We are expecting enough of a barnburner that even if a goal or two is scored before halftime, this bet has a chance of coming in.
Real Madrid vs Man City prop bet
- Pick: Vinicius Jr to score or assist a goal
- Odds: +110 (FanDuel)
This is unbelievable value for a player in blistering chance-creation form. According to Opta, nobody in Europe is creating chances for both themselves and teammates on the dribble at a higher rate than Vinicius Jr. He has taken 59 shots and assisted 51 others following a ball carry, with that 110 combined total higher than anyone else in Europe by a gargantuan margin of 24.
Add in that Vinicius has produced a goal contribution in each of his last nine appearances for Real Madrid, and in each of his last 10 starts in the Champions League, and this seems like as much of a lock as you'll get in a matchup of this caliber at plus odds, even against one of Europe's best sides and a player in Kyle Walker who has had success in the past against Vinicius.
Real Madrid vs Man City prop bet
- Pick: Erling Haaland anytime goal scorer
- Odds: +100 (FanDuel)
This is the only time you will ever see Erling Haaland anytime goalscorer at anywhere close to plus odds. In a game where goals are expected, that's not a chance any bettor should let pass.
Not only is Haaland obliterating Premier League defences, setting the league's single-season goal scoring record with still five games to play, but his Champions League record is equally as stunning. Haaland has 39 goals in 34 career Champions League matches, and his 12 goals in this year's competition alone has him five away from Cristiano Ronaldo's record for most in a single UCL campaign. He has the best goals-per-minute ratio in Champions League history.
Furthermore, he has 51 goals across all competitions this year, and has eight matches (nine if they reach the Champions League final) to break Dixie Dean's all-time single-season record of 63 for an English club player.
Never, ever, ever bet against Haaland, and at this value, we're going with him.
Real Madrid vs Man City live stream, TV channel
|USA||CBS, Univision, TUDN||Fubo, Paramount+, ViX+|
|UK||BT Sport 1||BT Sport site/app|
|New Zealand||—||Spark Sport|
|India||—||Sony LIV, JioTV|
|Hong Kong||—||beIN Sports Connect|
|Malaysia||beIN Sports 3||beIN Sports Connect, sooka|
|Singapore||beIN Sports 3||beIN Sports Connect, StarHub TV+|