Can Manchester City and Liverpool continue their fantastic rivalry in the Champions League final?
The top two English Premier League teams are each favored at BetMGM in the first legs of their Champions League semifinals this week. Manchester City hosts Real Madrid on Tuesday afternoon (3 p.m. ET, CBS) while Villarreal visits Liverpool on Wednesday (3 p.m. ET, CBS).
Manchester City currently leads Liverpool by a point in the EPL standings with five games to go. The duo is way ahead of everyone else in the table and played to a fantastic 2-2 draw on April 10. A week later, Liverpool got a convincing 3-2 victory in an FA Cup semifinal.
Man City has never won the Champions League as it chases a trophy the team has long coveted. The UCL title is the only thing that’s eluded manager Pep Guardiola in his time at City and it’s fair to wonder if the season will be considered a disappointment if City wins the EPL title but doesn’t secure the Champions League.
Liverpool, meanwhile, is chasing after a historic quadruple. The Reds won the Carabao Cup in penalty kicks over Chelsea in February and are set to play the Blues on May 14 for the FA Cup title. No team has ever won those two competitions in the same season while also winning the EPL title and the Champions League title.
Here are the odds for the first semifinal games this week. The second legs of the semifinals are next week with Villarreal hosting Liverpool on Tuesday and Real Madrid hosting Manchester City on Wednesday. Can the two La Liga teams spoil the potential EPL party?
Manchester City vs. Real Madrid (over/under 2.5 goals)
Man City (-200)
Real Madrid (+450)
Madrid will likely be content to let Manchester City have most of the possessions and hope to hit on the counter. Real has leaned on Luka Modric and Karim Benzema throughout the Champions League and will hope that its two veteran stars can make some magic again to grab a goal or two on Tuesday night.
Liverpool vs. Villarreal (2.5)
We’re guessing that Villarreal will look to do what it successfully did against Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals. Bayern had nearly two-thirds of the possession in the quarterfinals but lost as both of Villarreal’s shots on target went into the back of the net. It’s impossible to bet that Villarreal will be that clinical against Liverpool, but it’s easy to envision how Liverpool will dominate possession over both games.