Sky Sports pundit states his prediction for Real Madrid v Man City
Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas is backing Real Madrid and Manchester City to play out a 2-2 draw at The Etihad on Wednesday
Charlie Nicholas is backing Real Madrid and Manchester City to share the spoils in a 2-2 draw at The Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
The Citizens will make the trip to the Spanish capital for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash.
Manchester City warmed up for the European tie with a hard-fought 1-0 win against third-placed Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
The Citizens are looking to win their first Champions League crown this season after losing to domestic rivals Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur at the quarter-final stage in 2018 and 2019.
Real Madrid have struggled to find consistency in La Liga this season in spite of Eden Hazard’s move to the Spanish giants from Chelsea FC last summer.
Los Blancos are two points behind FC Barcelona in the La Liga title race, and Eden Hazard will miss the visit of Manchester City due to an injury.
Former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas is backing Manchester City to score twice in a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid at The Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
“Real Madrid are unpredictable,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
“They blew their position at the top of La Liga with defeat at Levante. But they are the masters of this competition.
“They knew how to win it even when they were not playing well. They were not favourites then, and they are not favourites now. I do not even think they are favourites in this tie.
“I see Manchester City scoring here. Aymeric Laporte played another 75 minutes and hopefully he is fit as he will be a positive for them at the back.
“Where is the big fear factor for City? Sergio Ramos is coming to the end and will be moving on. Eden Hazard is out. I think they’d sell Luka Modric and Gareth Bale if they could.
“The reputation of the club is the answer but Pep Guardiola has won there in domestic competitions before. City will embrace the Bernabeu.
“They have not been playing as well as they should but when they go after a game, they are a different class, especially when they get on the ball. Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva will be key.”
Real Madrid are the most successful side in European Cup history, having won the competition 13 times.
Los Blancos have reached four of the last six finals to underline their dominance in the competition.
Manchester City have reached the semi-finals only once before, losing 1-0 to Real Madrid over two legs.