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Champions League 2019/20: Real Madrid vs Manchester City - tactical analysis tactics

Manchester City vs. Real Madrid, Round of 16 Rematch stats and data breakdown

Unlike our previous and usual articles, we will modify this one all in order to analyze the upcoming Champions League challenges. We are specifically interested in one of the remaining four Round of 16 matchups, who are yet to be closed with the rematches.

That match is Manchester City vs. Real Madrid, arguably the most interesting one in the entire competition so far.

All the punters and bookmakers are concentrated around this spectacle, with both sides seeing this as an ideal opportunity for making some money. Right now, online bookmakers have City as the favorite to win the rematch, 14/19, while UK bookies  show Real sitting at 18/5 while a draw is 7/2. Just to remind you, the first clash which took place at Santiago Bernabeu ended with 1-2 for the Citizens, who managed to erase a one-goal deficit with furious last 30 minutes. Back then, City was in excellent shape, and Real struggled a lot.

Still, that was a long time ago, and things are different now.

As we saw it recently, Los Blancos are in a magnificent form, and they won almost all of their matches since the resumption of play in Spain. The lone one in which they didn’t post a victory was against Leganes 2-2, but that was the closure of La Liga, and after Zidane’s boys secured the title.

In eleven games since the comeback, this was the only game in which Real allowed two goals, and during that period, they had a five-game streak during which they kept clean sheets. Courtois became the first goalkeeper after a long time to record 18 La Liga games without having to take the ball out of his net. It means that his ratio is 53%, making him by far the most successful goalie in Spain, and further abroad.

The other guy who dominated in recent times, was Karim Benzema with seven goals and three assists in these 11 games. Without his goals, which often decided the game, Real wouldn’t win the title at all.

Manchester City received a slap in the face this weekend, Guardiola’s machinery lost 0-2 to Arsenal, and was eliminated from the FA Cup. Just a few saw that coming.

The Citizens had 71% of the ball possession, and 16 goal attempts here. However, just one shot went on target, while on the other side, they allowed four attempts of the Gunners with all four heading on goal.

As usual, the difference in total passes was enormous, City 627, Arsenal 271, and overall, the team from Manchester is one of the best in the UCL in that aspect. At the moment, only Liverpool (5134) has more completed passes than the Sky Blues (4373), who are, on the other hand, more precise, with 88% of completions.

Sergio Aguero’s absence slowed down City’s attack. In the opening two matches since the restart, the Citizens scored eight goals, not allowing the single one. But that is when the Argentinian picked up a knee injury leaving his teammates less dangerous upfront.

After all, he did score 23 goals in 31 appearances this year.

His City is still the No.1 favorite to win the UCL trophy, with the odds at 10/3 for them. Just slightly behind are the German champions, Bayern Munich, 11/3, and after them is PSG with 5/1. Barcelona and Atletico 8/1 are ahead of Atalanta, 10/1. Real is far behind with 25/1, and that is mostly because of a deficit from the first leg.

Bottom line – Real will play tough, emphasizing a hard defense, waiting for City to make a move before hitting back. Their morale is at a very high level.

Manchester City – without Aguero, City is inconsistent upfront. Overall, they are not constant with performances. Guardiola plans to take the ball, and keep it its possession, not allowing Real to use their creative midfield.