Manchester City will travel to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to take on Real Madrid in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League. In the first leg, the Cityzens won a 4-3 thriller thanks to goals from Kevin de Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva. However, at the other end of the pitch, they let in a brace from Karim Benzema and a goal from Vinicius Junior in the process. Both Manchester City and Real Madrid won their respective weekend fixtures 4-0 heading into this mammoth clash.
Real Madrid come into this match after having clinched their 35th LaLiga title with a 4-0 win over RCD Espanyol at home. Rodrygo Goes scored twice, and Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema netted one apiece. This win leaves Los Blancos with a record of 25 wins, six draws, and only three losses, with a +44 goal difference to their name. In this season’s UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid have registered 65 shots on target in 11 games, the third most behind Bayern and Liverpool. They have hit an average of 5.91 shots on target per game.
Toni Kroos has been Los Blancos’ most successful threat creator in this season’s UCL campaign, but most of his threat has come from dead ball situations. From open play, Karim Benzema has created the most threat. The majority of Real Madrid’s threat has come from the left-centre and the right-centre of the pitch in the final third as well as from inside the opponents’ penalty area. Vinicius Junior is Real Madrid’s leader in the assists chart, with three to his name.
Given in the above visual is the shot map of Real Madrid in this season’s UEFA Champions League. Thanks to the performances of the Frenchman Karim Benzema, Los Merengues have rarely missed any big chances with an xG value of 0.4 or more. He has tremendously outperformed his xG of 7.1 by netting twice as many goals in the Champions League.
Manchester City head into this game with a 4-0 win over Leeds United at Elland Road. The goals were scored by Rodri, Nathan Ake, Gabriel Jesus, and Fernandinho. City reclaimed their top spot as a result and have a record of 26 wins, five draws, and three losses, with a +63 goal difference to their name. The Cityzens also have the second highest xG in this season’s UCL, only marginally behind Bayern Munich.
The chart above shows Manchester City’s performances in this season’s UEFA Champions League. City have outperformed their xG per 90 output of 1.96 by netting 2.3 goals per 90. The Cityzens also rank second in total passes, passing accuracy, and total passes into the final third.
Manchester City should be wary of the threat of Vinicius Junior on the left wing and Karim Benzema in the penalty box. But, in truth, the whole Real Madrid team is a formidable unit, and the Cityzens will need to extract every last bit of performance if they are to meet Liverpool in the Champions League Final later this month.