The Champions League semifinals begin as four teams remain in pursuit of continental glory. The action kicks off on Tuesday when Real Madrid head to Manchester City for the first leg. It will be Liverpool and Villarreal on Wednesday in the other semifinal. Tuesday’s clash at the Etihad features a club in Real that have won the tournament 13 times, more than any other, while City have yet to reach the summit but are hoping this is the year Pep Guardiola leads them there. Ahead of kickoff, here are our expert picks:
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Tuesday’s broadcast schedule
Wednesday’s broadcast schedule
Manchester City vs. Real Madrid
Date: Tuesday, April 26 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | TV and live stream: CBS and Paramount+
Location: Etihad Stadium — Manchester, United Kingdom
Studio coverage: Kate Abdo, Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards
Commentators: Peter Drury and Jim Beglin
On-site reporters: Peter Schmeichel, Jules Breach and Guillem Balagué
Odds: Man City -205; Draw +340; Real Madrid +550; O/U: 2.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Manchester City vs. Real Madrid
One matchup to watch: Karim Benzema vs. Ruben Dias. The Portuguese defender will be tasked with shutting down the guy our crew thinks is the. Benzema, 34, is having far and away the best season of his career. His 39 goals is seven more than his second-best season. He’s had back-to-back hat tricks in the knockout stage and is playing out of his mind. Can Dias, arguably the best defender in the world, stop him?
Most likely to score: Benzema. A City player made sense here because they are the favorites, but so many different players can score for them so it is hard to pick. I’ll go with the guy who has to be on for Real to advance. Benzema is pulling off stunning strikes, being Johnny on the spot time and time again, and he has made his case to win the next Ballon d’Or.
Man of the Match pick: Phil Foden. The young Englishman puts together an absolutely electric showing, scoring a goal and assisting another to take home the honor as the man of the match. His technical ability and speed should give the Real Madrid center-backs some serious trouble.
Match prediction: Manchester City 2, Real Madrid 1. Foden and Kevin de Bruyne score, Real get their goal from Karim Benzema, and the English club finishes the opening leg with a slight advantage.