Real Madrid should win against a youthful Man City team
Manchester City enter the final game of the 2015 Australia International Champions’ Cup knowing that a victory over Real Madrid will see them lift the trophy.
All eyes will be upon new signing Raheem Sterling, who scored just 137 seconds into his debut against Roma earlier in the tournament. The 2-2 draw in Melbourne (Man City won on penalties) offered far greater entertainment than the somewhat drab 0-0 between Roma and Real, and another goal-fest seems likely – given Manuel Pellegrini will continue to field some of their most promising youngsters.
Manu Garcia and Brandon Barker showed plenty of talent, but it was Kelechi Iheanacho who stole the show. The 18-year-old Nigerian striker provided a superb assist for Sterling’s opener, before slotting home the second after collecting a poor back pass.
The meeting with Real Madrid on Friday will be the most important fixture of these young players’ lives, and an opportunity to show their maturity against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
These are interesting times for Man City fans, who are keen to see a greater mix of young players join the likes of Sterling and David Silva in the first-team squad; with Kevin de Bruyne set to join in a £60 million deal from Wolfsburg, breaking through from the Academy has never been harder.
New manager Rafa Benitez is keen to impose his tactical vision on his team as quickly as possible, and therefore Real are highly likely to field their strongest possible eleven. However, the team Benitez fields may not last the summer. The futures of Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos are precarious, whilst the long David de Gea saga means that their defensive shape will not be fully organised until close to the season opener.
Given the laid back atmosphere of this pre-season tournament, and the number of attacking superstars set to face inexperienced youth players, we can anticipate goals. If betting on Man City v Real Madrid, back over 3.5 goals at 6/4, and back Real Madrid to win at 5/6.
The match kicks off at 11am, Friday 23rd July in Melbourne.