Real Madrid v Manchester City is too big a game in its own right to need any extra publicity, but nobody seems to have informed Los Blancos boss Jose Mourinho.
In typical fashion, the Portuguese has been doing his best to deflect attention away from the fact that Real have made a stuttering start to the defence to their La Liga crown.
His chosen tactic this time round has been to question Roberto Mancini’s record in European club competition.
In fact, he has gone further than that – he has questioned whether Manchester City could ever win the Champions League with Mancini in charge.
This feud has history: Mourinho has repeatedly referenced the fact that he succeeded in winning the Champions League at Inter in 2010, while Mancini suffered repeated early failure during his tenure at San Siro.
Real won all six of their Champions League home matches in the last campaign by an aggregate score of 24-6.
Worryingly for the Citizens, Mancini added fuel to Mourinho’s fire by chalking up another Champions League failure last season when he failed to guide his City side past the group stage.
City’s away form was particularly alarming, with limp displays against Bayern Munich and Lazio in no way compensated for by a 3-0 hammering of a woeful Villarreal side.
So while the Citizens are the reigning Premier League champions, it is no surprise to see Real installed as odds-on favourites at 57/100 to win the match in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, even if Los Blancos have lost three of their last five games.
Significantly, all of those defeats have come away from home and their record at the Bernabeu remains formidable – particularly in the Champions League.
On the domestic front, Real have won 12 and drawn three of their last 15 home games, including a 2-1 win over Barcelona in the Supercopa last month.
Meanwhile, Real won all six of their Champions League home matches in the last campaign by an aggregate score of 24-6.
When allied with Manchester City’s lack of experience on the biggest European stage in recent years and Mancini’s questionable Champions League record, it is not hard to imagine Mourinho’s men enjoying a comfortable victory.
This is why I’ll be going for a Real win by at least two goals at 29/20 rather than looking at the draw (31/10), away win (17/4), or City to avoid defeat at 13/10.
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Recommended bet: Real Madrid to beat Man City by at least two goals @ 29/20
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