The second spot in the Champions League final will be determined as Real Madrid and Manchester City meet on Wednesday in their semifinal second leg. They are level 1-1 after the first leg thanks to goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Vinicius Junior as City return home are the favorites to advance to Istanbul. Whoever wins will face Inter on June 10 for the crown.
Eduardo Camavinga is in the squad for Real Madrid but it remains to be seen if he’ll feature in the match after picking up a knock over the weekend against Getafe. Critical to how Real Madrid perform in possession, if he can’t go, Ferland Mendy will likely return to the starting lineup.
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more — and while you’re at it, sign up for our new newsletter covering the beautiful game in all its glory, including updates about the most important stories in the sport, here.
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How to watch and odds
Date: Wednesday, May 17 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Etihad Stadium — Manchester, England
TV: CBS | Live stream: Paramount+
Odds: Manchester City -165; Draw +310; Real Madrid +410 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Manchester City vs. Real Madrid
The first leg between these sides was open but after Manchester City dominated the beginning of the tie, Real Madrid were able to work back into things, ultimately scoring their goal. There was controversy surrounding City’s equalizer but heading into the second leg, Real Madrid will have put that in the rearview mirror and maintain focus.
It is anyone’s game as while City have the best player on the pitch in Erling Haaland, Real Madrid are a team that have consistently competed at the highest levels of the game, not only making it to Champions League finals but also winning them with a record 14 titles. That’s something that City still haven’t done and this season feels like it could be the year.
Manchester City: Without Nathan Ake, Pep Guardiola has a decision to make between if Manuel Akanji will start again or if Aymeric Laporte will feature. Either provides good options defensively, especially when the attack will come from Jack Grealish tracking back. Haaland could also have more space to operate in because Los Blancos have to keep an eye on Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne.
The duo was involved in the goal for City in the opening match but if Real Madrid want to keep them in check it will give Haaland more chances to score himself.
Real Madrid: Camavinga’s health is the biggest question coming into the match. The attack will get theirs and make sure that the team is in a position to score goals even if Karim Benzema isn’t shooting much. But teams also haven’t been able to stop the Frenchman for consecutive matches in the past which is where he could make some noise if this becomes a shootout between two excellent teams.
Without Camavinga, the team will be weaker in possession but Mendy can still get the ball up the pitch to free the attackers.
Player to watch
Manchester City: Erling Haaland. After not scoring in the first leg, the team will want to use Haaland to move Real Madrid’s defense around. Eder Militao coming in will improve the defense’s presence against Haaland but if Los Blancos try to take the midfielders out of the game, you can’t stop all of Manchester City’s attackers. That’s what makes me lean toward the match being a shootout and in that style of game, Haaland can grab two goals in the match.
Real Madrid: Luka Modric. If there’s one person who can break the game open for Madrid, it’s Modric. With a work rate to be a defensive pest while also keeping the attack ticking over, he can singlehandedly break the game over for Real Madrid. They can’t defend for 90 minutes and hope to advance which is where Modric comes into play. Composed and able to push the team forward, Modric will be the key to winning.
After a fist leg where both teams were feeling each other out, this is a match where goals will happen. A brace from Haaland will be enough to push Manchester City to the Champions League final but Real Madrid will get goals of their own as the wingers can’t be contained during the match. PICK: Manchester City 3. Real Madrid 2