Manchester City can close in on Champions League glory with victory over Real Madrid
Posted by  badge Boss on May 16
Manchester City will be celebrating again against Real Madrid (Picture: Getty Images)

Manchester City could be just three wins away from celebrating an incredible Treble after all but wrapping up the successful defence of their title.

Sunday’s 3-0 win at combined with Brighton’s victory at Arsenal – flagged up in this column at 7/2 – means they need a maximum of three points to retain their crown.

They also have the final with to enjoy on June 3 and current form indicates they will win that by a landslide.

It’s easy to sit here, soak up City’s superlative form and run away with thoughts about them also playing in the Champions League final in Turkey on June 10 but first they must overcome the challenge of Real Madrid in the finely poised semi-final second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

Home advantage could well be the key factor but Pep Guardiola’s meticulous preparation means no tactical nuance will be overlooked as the City boss will be fully aware Los Blancos and European football go together like bacon and eggs.

Last week’s first leg in the Spanish capital was a close-fought affair with the 1-1 draw a fair result.

Madrid caused an upset when the clubs met in the last four last season with two late goals taking the tie into extra-time where Karim Benzema’s penalty swept the Spaniards into the final and victory over Liverpool.

City, though, are extremely adept at learning from their mistakes and now have the seemingly unstoppable Erling Haaland leading the most potent of attacks.

Real Madrid’s Brazilian forward Rodrygo can net a consolation goal (Picture: Getty Images)

He’s 13/5 with William Hill to open the scoring while the equally majestic Kevin De Bruyne is 3/1 with the same firm to score at any time.

A 2/1 home win is 15/2 with Hills and Unibet go 24/5 for Rodrygo to grab a consolation as Pep starts preparing for the trip to Istanbul.

13/5 Middlesbrough’s Championship play-off, second leg with Coventry to go to extra-time (Sky Bet)

• Back Karl Burke’s improving Novakai each-way at 7/1 with Ladbrokes in the Musidora Stakes on the first day of this week’s Dante Festival at York.