With the Champions League making its return in mouth-watering fashion this week, Manchester City will be looking to finish off the job when they welcome the newly-crowned Spanish champions to an empty Etihad on Friday night.
Signing off their Premier League campaign with a 5-0 romp against an already-relegated Norwich, the Sky Blues had found themselves enjoying quite the free-scoring purple patch and are still seen as one of the leading picks to lift this year’s trophy.
On the flip side, reclaiming their La Liga title and eventually finishing off the year with a five-point buffer over their arch-rivals, few would have expected what has been a monumental return to action for Los Blancos.
In the midst of their most fruitful spell in recent memory, Friday’s guests ended the year by winning 10 of their last 11 domestic matchups since the interruption and they will be hoping to carry on their remarkable run outside of the Spanish capital.
However, throwing away the lead and hit with a 2-1 defeat in the first-leg back in March, you might be interested to know that another City victory at the Etihad can be found priced at 7/10 with 888Sport.
De Bruyne does it again
While Manchester City were rightfully left frustrated to have seen both the Premier League and FA Cup titles wiped off the table this season, the Sky Blues are still seen as the top pick to lift their first European crown this summer.
Last seen picking up what was a thumping 5-0 romp against a rock-bottom Norwich, Pep Guardiola got the exact morale-boost that he was hoping for ahead of Friday’s heavyweight showdown.
Really showing their clinical edge since returning from the enforced break, there is no doubt that the former Barcelona boss will be hugely excited by Kevin De Bruyne’s stunning campaign in Manchester.
Widely regarded as a clear favourite to lift this year’s PFA Player of the Year award, the Belgium ace has remained a constant performer for City this season and will lead their charge this week.
Bagging a brace against Norwich last time out and equalling Thierry Henry’s Premier League assist-record, the 29-year-old also converted from the spot in the Sky Blues’ win out in Madrid earlier in the year.
You might be interested to know that City’s MVP is currently priced at 7/4 with Betfair to extend on his tally at the Etihad this week.
Benzema’s purple patch continues
Marking their return from football’s enforced break in scintillating fashion, few would have expected Real Madrid’s remarkable end to this year’s campaign.
Lifting their first La Liga title since 2018 and dethroning their bitter-rivals, Los Blancos collected 22 points over their final eight games of the season and Zinedine Zidane’s side will be smelling an upset on Friday night.
If the Spanish giants are to turn around the deficit on foreign soil, then the former French icon will be calling on a red-hot Karim Benzema to lead their charge at the Etihad.
Enjoying a stunning campaign in the capital and continuing to shine following football’s return from the interruption, the 32-year-old has record four strikes in as many appearances and only finished the year behind Lionel Messi in the race for the Golden Boot.
While some expect him to leave Zidane’s side come the end of the summer, Benzema can be found priced at 11/8 with Paddy Power to extend on his recent purple patch this week.
Sadly for Los Blancos, they will be without skipper Sergio Ramos on Friday night after picking up a late red card in the first-leg against City back in March.