Soccer Picks: Man City Champions League Semi Debut vs. Real Madrid

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 11:00 AM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 26, 2016 11:00 AM GMT

Champions enters the penultimate round with the first of two scintillating semi-finals getting underway on Tuesday. Join us as we preview Man City vs. Real and serve up soccer picks.

Manchester City set to debut in Champions League semis
Inasmuch as Man City’s domestic season is a disappointment, they are on the verge of their first-ever Champions League semi-final appearance. Wonders never cease in soccer.

Man City’s domestic season took a turn for the worse a few months back, around the time when it was announced that Pep Guardiola would be taking over the club’s management next season, effectively sending Manuel Pelligrini packing to the dole queue without so much as a thank you. Well, perhaps it wasn’t as harsh. Still, it’s interesting that form took a nosedive and Man City’s title bid subsequently went tits up.

As it is, Man City are well and truly out of the Premier League race – that honour belongs to the Foxes and Spurs (although it’s looking like the former will pull off the improbable title victory more and more). Where does that leave Man City? Fighting for a spot in the league’s Top 4. As it is, they are sat in third place behind a 19-7-9 record and 64 points, level on points with Arsenal (fourth). Recent form has been auspicious though with a seven-game undefeated streak across all competitions (five wins and two draws) both home and away. 

At the Etihad, the Citizens are riding a three-game winning streak, which includes wins over West Brom, PSG and Stoke City, two of which were clean sheets and overall those featured seven goals scored and one conceded. Finding such form just before their Champions League semi-final debut must give Manuel Pellegrini’s side some room for optimism against Real Madrid, arguably, the better side in the eyes of most soccer bettors and, not to mention, the most successful club in the competition’s history.


 

Real Madrid Seeking an Eleventh European Triumph
Real Madrid’s pedigree in the competition speaks for itself, winners of ten European titles they are just two fixtures away from a potential Champions League final and an eleventh triumph on Europe’s grandest stage. Not for nothing is the Spanish side matched as one of the top two favourites at this stage to emerge winners, priced at +188 at bet365 to win outright.

Granted Bayern Munich are the team to beat at +150 or thereabouts in Champions League outrights, but there’s an argument to be had about this nominal edge. It being largely down to managerial experience rather than the quality, skill and depth of the respective rosters. By all accounts, very little separates these rosters, each boasting its fair share of enviable soccer baubles. The difference comes down to Pep Guardiola’s experience and proven track record of success compared to the relative inexperience of Zinedina Zidane in the dugout.

In any event, Real Madrid are considered to be the draw winners, drawing debutants Man City in the semi-finals and avoiding both Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid at this stage of the competition. As such, Real Madrid have this tie cornered in their camp wholeheartedly – they are not only expected to advance into the final at -275 with Paddy Power, but also they are the away favourites at the Etihad to win the first leg at +145 soccer odds. Man City are priced at +200 while the draw is trading at +250.

Real have form to back up their favourable odds. They are riding a five-game winning streak across all competitions since a shocking loss to Wolfsburg in the away leg of their Champions League quarterfinal. Incidentally, the manner in which they reversed the 0-2 deficit to Wolfsburg at the Bernabeau in the second leg marked one of the best nights in European football this season, second only to Liverpool’s come-from-behind win over Borussia Dortmund in Europa League we’d wager.

As well, Real have won 11 of their last 12 fixtures across all competitions, scoring 37 goals and conceding just 7 goals. If that isn’t extraordinary form, what is? Certainly, it tips the scale towards Los Blancos on the soccer betting floor.

Of course, there are those that will look towards the first leg of their quarterfinal encounter with Wolfsburg. It showed Real could still be vulnerable to the upset. True as that may be, there’s another side to the argument. By that same token, one would think Real would be more cautious this time around. It’s hard to imagine they would underestimate a second straight opponent, particularly when it’s crunch time and the finish line is so near.

Soccer Betting Verdict
Man City have punched above their weight class and that makes them a tempting bet on your soccer picks as the home underdogs of +200. For our money, though, we can’t look past Real Madrid and their equally tempting +140 soccer odds on the road.

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Free Soccer Picks: Real Madrid +149
Best Line Offered:  at Pinnacle

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