First-leg trend shows why Man City will beat Real Madrid

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Manchester City’s first ever Champions League semi-final sees them up against the competition’s most successful team-Real Madrid.

The Spanish giants have lifted the trophy ten times and last failed to make it this far in the 2009/10 season, but their familiarity with the tournament shouldn’t trouble the Citizens.

Despite making the last five semi-finals before this one, Los Blancos have only advanced once in that run and it is first legs that have been their undoing.

In all of those exits, they have lost the initial meeting of the tie, with Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Barcelona advancing at Real’s expense.

Furthermore, just one of those defeats came at the Bernabeu, adding further credibility to the possibility of the Citizens grabbing an important win at the Etihad.

Similarly, on the occasion that the Madrid outfit made it through to the final, the played on home soil first, picking up a win over Bayern.

They would go on to trounce the Bundesliga champions 4-0 in Germany, their only away triumph in their run of consecutive semi-finals.

City also have strong enough home form to suggest they will continue their opponents’ rut, winning their last three across all competitions in front of their supporters.

Additionally, they have only lost one game at the Etihad in the Champions League this term and that was to last year’s finalists Juventus.

When looking at who will inspire the two-time Premier League champions to a win, it’s hard to look beyond Kevin de Bruyne.

The Belgian midfield maestro has only tasted defeat at his home ground once across all competitions since joining the Citizens.

Furthermore, following his return from injury, Manuel Pellegrini’s men have gone unbeaten, winning four of their six matches.

His two goals against Paris Saint-Germain over two legs prove he can do it against top European opposition and De Bruyne can be backed to score in this encounter at 5/2.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Dan Ross

After a brief stint as a commentator, Dan took his passion for football into writing and went on to gain an NCTJ in sports journalism. A lifelong Walsall fan, he's followed the Saddlers through the highs, getting to Wembley for the first time ever last season, and the lows, namely relegation to League Two in 2006.