Manchester City vs Real MadridUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Aug 7, 2020, Etihad Stadium
THE big question heading into this Champions League showdown with Real Madrid is which version of Manchester City will turn up?
There's no question that Pep Guardiola's team remain capable of conquering Europe when they hit their stride but they also possess a soft centre that could make them nearly men yet again.
And if City let their standards slip in the second leg of this last-16 tie then Real Madrid have the firepower to make them pay, although Gareth Bale won't feature after boss Zinedine Zidane claimed the Welshman didn't want to play.
Zidane's men head to England in high spirits having secured the Spanish crown after coming out of lockdown. They didn't put a foot wrong upon La Liga's resumption, winning every game to wrap up the title before finishing with a draw at Leganes in a dead rubber.
How the bookies view it
Real Madrid are outsiders, with Zidane's men 31/10 to win on the night at Bet365 and 11/2 with Paddy Power to qualify. Those odds might tempt a few punters given the Bernabeu side's pedigree in this competition.
The draw is 18/5 with Sportingbet while Manchester City are 8/11 with BetVictor to win on the night and 3/19 with Sportingbet to qualify. The two away goals certainly give City the edge but the bookies may live to regret writing off Real, although they will be without skipper Sergio Ramos after his red card in the first leg.
Manchester City ended the English season with nine wins and three defeats in their last 12 games so they are in pretty decent form. But Real Madrid's results have been even better, winning 10 games in a row before that stalemate at Leganes when there was nothing to play for.
Players to watch
Kevin De Bruyne scored in the Bernabeu and saves some of his best performances for the biggest stages. He's a boosted 5/2 with Paddy Power to score here which looks a great price as he takes City's penalties.
Real Madrid haven't got much value out of £100million man Eden Hazard since his move from Chelsea, with injuries ruining his debut season. An ankle problem makes him a doubt to face City so the former Chelsea star probably isn't worth backing for a goal, even at a boosted 4/1 with William Hill.
Karim Benzema (below left) has been their go-to guy for goals all season and the Frenchman is a decent 2/1 with 888Sport to score his 27th goal of the season at the Etihad.
Anything else catch the eye?
Our man Slips Tips cashed in by tipping both teams to score in the first leg and I can see a repeat here, especially with home advantage counting for less with no fans present. Sadly, the odds aren't great at a best 4/9 with VBet and it's the same for over 2.5 goals at 8/15 with the same firm.
All the goals in the Bernabeu came after the break so try backing the second period to be the highest-scoring half at evens with Paddy Power.
I cashed in by backing a goal to be scored outside the box when City faced Newcastle and Brighton. Both teams possess players who can shoot from long range so I fancy a repeat here but I've yet to see a price on it.
With master of the dark arts Ramos missing, I have to look elsewhere in the card market but Real full-back Dani Carvahal is equally adept at racking up disciplinary points. He has 13 yellows for the season and is 3/2 with SkyBet for a card here.
This UEFA Champions League match between Manchester City and Real Madrid will be played on Aug 7, 2020 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Manchester City vs Real Madrid prediction.