Real Madrid and Manchester City will square off in the UEFA Champions League semifinal, and Paulo Maldini predicts Real Madrid to win.
After a convincing 4-1 aggregate victory against Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola's Cityzens guaranteed their spot in the round of four. On Wednesday (April 19), they were beaten to a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena despite being the better team. Madrid, meanwhile, beat Chelsea 4-0 on the road to moving on to the semifinals. On Tuesday (April 18), Los Blancos defeated the Blues 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
That means a rematch of the semifinal from the previous season will pit City against Real Madrid. At that time, Carlo Ancelotti's team won. Maldini, though, is not betting on the defending European champions to defeat the Premier League heavyweights once more. According to the three-time Champions League champion, Movistar Football:
"In the Semi-Final, I think Manchester City is a slight favourite over Real Madrid."
At this pivotal point in the season, Manchester City is in outstanding shape. Against a Bayern team that was one of the favourites to win the Champions League, they made it seem simple. In the draw at the Allianz, Erling Haaland increased his total to 48 goals in 41 appearances across competitions.
Guardiola's team won't need to be reminded of their defeat to Los Merengues from last year, though. They were ahead 5-3 overall going into the last minute of the match. But before Karim Benzema converted a stunning winning penalty in the 90+5th minute, Rodrygo scored a brace in the 90th and 90+1st minutes.
On May 9, Real Madrid welcomes Manchester City to the Santiago Bernabeu for the opening leg of their Champions League semifinal. Los Blancos will be eager to seize control of the tie at home because they have yet to lose at home in Europe this year.
The second leg will then take place at the Etihad on May 17. Madrid faces a challenging assignment as the City citizens have impressively scored 13 goals in their past three home games.
On June 10, the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul will host the Champions League final of this season. Due to the overflow of events following the 2022 FIFA World Cup at the end of the previous year, the date is later than normal. In that championship game, the losers of AC Milan and Inter Milan will square off against either City or Madrid.