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By Benjamin Leo
4th May 2016 at 10:57am

All aboard the European bandwagon!

Manchester City make their Champions League semi-final debut tonight against a club that’s won the European Cup 10 times: Real Madrid.

TAKE ME TO MARATHONBET’S REAL MADRID v MAN CITY MARKETS

Los Blancos are making their 27th appearance at this stage of the competition but the men from Manchester have already clocked two wins against Spanish opposition this campaign. 

And after a 0-0 draw at The Etihad in the first leg of this last-four thriller, there’s all to play for tonight in the Spanish capital.

Not sure who to back? Here’s a selection of big and bold bets placed by Marathonbet customers ahead of tonight’s clash:

MADRID TO QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL – £750 STAKED AT 19/50

A nice and simple starter from this London-based customer. He reckons Madrid will qualify for the final – whether in 90 minutes, Extra Time or penalties – and will take home £1035 if his punt comes in.

Stats show Madrid are in the last four of the competition for a 27th time. They’ve won 13 and lost 13 of their previous semi-finals.

But although they are in a sixth successive  Champions League semi,  they have won only one of those fixtures over that period. That was against Bayern Munich in 2013/14 when they went on to win a tenth title.

MANCHESTER CITY TO WIN – £400 STAKED AT 61/10

This big hitter has staked a nice wedge on Manchester City to win in 90 minutes and will walk away with £2,840 if Pellegrini’s side dig deep in the Bernabeu. But the club has never won at this stage of a UEFA competition before.

It’s their third European semi-final across UEFA’s club competitions and their first since 1971. They beat Schalke 5-2 on aggregate in the 1969/70 European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-finals and lost 2-0 to Chelsea FC over two legs at the same stage of the same competition the following season. Can they make it third time lucky tonight?

They’ve met Madrid just once on their own turf before – in the 2012/13 group stage. Real twice came from behind to win 3-2 after City led twice courtesy of Edin Džeko and Aleksandar Kolarov. Goals from Marcelo, Benzema and a 90th minute winner from that man Ronaldo clinched victory for the hosts.

TAKE ME TO MARATHONBET’S REAL MADRID v MAN CITY MARKETS

REAL MADRID TO WIN (-1 HANDICAP) – £223 STAKED AT 4/5

The first leg ended 0-0 in Manchester and was a tight affair. Somebody’s gotta take a gamble this time round though, right?

This Scottish punter thinks Madrid will take off the handbrake at home and expects the hosts to win with a 1-0 handicap. For those unfamiliar with handicap betting, you are essentially giving one team a headstart by backing their opponents in the handicap market.

In this instance the punter reckons Madrid will win by two clear goals. If they don’t, his bet loses. If the game finishes 1-0 Madrid, the score when you factor in the handicap is 0-0 – which would also be a loser. If Madrid win 2-1, the handicap score is 1-1 – also a loser. But if Zidane’s side win 2-0, 3-1, 4-2 or any other scoreline where they have a two-goal advantage, you’re a winner.

This customer will return £401 if Madrid can pull it off.

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