Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney thinks Manchester City are going to comfortably get past Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final.
Pep Guardiola’s men host the reigning European champions on Tuesday evening.
The other semi-final will be contested between AC Milan and Inter Milan – meaning many fancies whoever gets through between City and Madrid to win the whole thing.
One of the Milan teams could well prove a lot of football fans wrong by claiming the Champions League, and it would be quite nice to see from a neutral point of view.
City are chasing a historic treble and have to see off Arsenal’s title challenge in the Premier League, Real Madrid in the semi-finals and then one of the Italian giants in the final of the Champions League, and city rivals Manchester United in the final fo the FA Cup to make it happen.
The Citizens are the favourites to win each competition, but with little rest between fixtures, they could falter.
Guardiola’s side look unbeatable at this moment in time and should make light work of Madrid at the Etihad.
Carlo Ancelotti and his players are inevitable in the Champions League, however, and it would be no surprise to see them defy the odds to reach the final ahead of the Premier League champions.
Former England captain Rooney does not think this will be the case, backing City to “blow them away”.
“Manchester City will not just beat Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final — they’ll blow them away,” Rooney wrote for The Times.
“Of course, I may be wrong. There is no side better at disproving arguments against them than Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid in the Champions League.
“But I just think City are so good that they’re on another level.
Madrid knocked out City in the semi-finals last season before beating Liverpool in the final.
The Citizens won the first leg 4-3 and held a 1-0 lead at the Bernabeu until the 90th minute when Rodrygo equalised on the night and then again on aggregate in added time.
It was a historic comeback from Los Blancos’ point of view, while it was a huge capitulation from City.
Rooney does not think history will repeat itself.
“A year ago, Madrid put City out of the competition at this stage but the dynamics are different now,” he added.
“City are better at the back and a more patient team who, in the Champions League, have been playing like they have learnt from their European experiences.”