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Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema celebrates as we make our Real Madrid-Man City predictions.
Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid and UD Almeria. Photo by Thomas Coex/AFP.

Manager Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are looking for revenge over Real Madrid in the 2023 Champions League semifinal 12 months after coughing up a lead in injury time. Check out our Real Madrid vs. Man City predictions based on the best Champions League odds.

The two favorites by the UEFA Champions League odds for this season's crown play each other on Tuesday in the first leg of the semifinals.

Real Madrid and Man City will square off for the ninth time in European competition, with both sides winning three of the previous eight matches.

City have won three of the last four meetings. However, they lost the most recent encounter, dropping that match 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu during last season’s semifinal second leg.

Here is our best Real Madrid-Man City Champions League prediction for the first leg of their semifinal matchup (odds via PointsBet; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Real Madrid vs. Man City pick

Over 2.5 goals (-140 via PointsBet) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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There’s plenty to be confident about with this play. The two clubs have scored a combined 17 goals scored during the last four Champions League meetings, with Real notching eight and City nine for an average of 4.3 per match. While Manchester City registered 31 shots on target compared to Real Madrid’s 17, the Spanish side netted with 47% of their attempts on target, compared to 29% for City. 

Even though Real Madrid are on a run of three consecutive clean sheets in the competition, they boast the second-worst expected goals against (12.5) of all the semifinalists, and City has produced the highest xG (22.2) of any side left in the competition. 

Check out our AC Milan vs. Inter Milan predictions for Wednesday's semifinal.

Both sides are capable of scoring plenty. Vinicius Junior has either scored or assisted on a goal in each of his last 10 starts for Real Madrid in the Champions League (seven goals and five assists). And you may have heard of the Norwegian on City. Erling Haaland has recorded 35 goals in 27 appearances during the competition, with his minutes per goal ratio (58) the best of any player in Champions League history. Haaland has scored twice as many goals (12) as Vinicius in this season’s tournament. 

Real’s leaky defense will be a concern for head coach Carlo Ancelotti. Despite winning the Copa del Rey over the weekend, they haven’t managed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last four games, giving up nine goals during that period. There will be opportunities for Kevin De Bruyne to find Haaland and company in attack. 

Real Madrid are the defending European champions and look to be well out of the La Liga title race, so the Champions League is their focus. They’ll attack City despite the threat of Guardiola’s men punishing them on the counter. It’s going to be open, which is why I believe this is the best play available in this matchup. We might even be toasting our success at halftime.

Our sports betting trend picks for Tuesday target a specific goalscorer for Man City in what we're expecting to be a high-volume affair.

Real Madrid vs. Man City best odds

PointsBet (-140)

Over 2.5Over 2.5Over 2.5Over 2.5Over 2.5

If you’re betting $10, there’s not much swing in the odds at play here. But the books also clearly think there will goals.

It’s hard to see these two offensively skilled teams failing to cash the Over. Real have been exposed at the back recently, and City look unstoppable. If this was at the Etihad Stadium, I’d be taking City as the moneyline play. They’re favorites on the road here, but I can't pick a side with conviction because owning home-field advantage is so important at this stage of the tournament.

If you're looking for a goalscorer play, Haaland is listed at -115 through PointsBet. The same book is posting Vinicius as +300 for that market.

Check out our best sports betting sites and best sportsbooks.

Real Madrid vs. Man City game info

  • Date: Tuesday, May 9, 3 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS, Paramount+
  • Location: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
  • Weather: 77 degrees, 0% chance of precipitation, 11-mph winds

Real Madrid-Man City pick made 5/7/2023 at 3 p.m. ET.

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