Real Madrid vs Manchester City
Manchester City embark on their second season in the Champions League after disappointing last year & going out at the group stage & in their opener they face maybe the toughest fixture in Europe when taking on Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. Mancini will almost certainly be sending his side out with the intention of nicking a draw but that could prove some way beyond them if Madrid can pick themselves up after a very poor start to their league season.
(Will Manchester City be able to cope with the skills of Angel Di Maria?)
Mourinho has publicly questioned his players spirit, suggesting they've only really got up for their Spanish Super Cup games with arch rivals Barcelona so far & they slumped to defeat at Sevilla at the weekend. That Sevilla game could prove a bit of a wake up call though & they have players who tend to be able to rise to the occasion & this is the greatest club competition in the world. Real Madrid won all of their home games in the competition last year & only went out in the semis by penalties, Man City meanwhile struggled on their travels & only picked up a win in their group when taking on the woeful Villareal who ended up without a single point. It takes a while to learn how to play in Europe & City are taking their first tentative steps, of course they weren't helped last year with the Carlos Tevez situation & that is at least seemingly behind them plus Sergio Aguero looks to coming back to full fitness offering them outstanding striking options.
Real do have the pedigree though & the weapons to hurt City, if the English side are potentially vulnerable it would be down the flanks & Cristiano Ronaldo will look to get at Zabaleta & Di Maria will be all over Gael Clichy down the right hand side. They'll have Gonzalo Higuain in the middle & he's looked pretty hot so far this season, taking advantage of Benzema's continuing struggles after a poor Euro 2012 for France. As well as being able to do the pretty stuff Madrid aren't afraid to get physical & they could need to here if they are to stop the rampaging Yaya Toure. We just feel that Madrid are a bit of value at odds of 3/4 at home as they'll look to win this whereas Mancini's caution & City's inexperience could mean they don't offer enough going forward to relieve pressure from defence.
Bradford City vs Morecambe
(James Hanson has 4 goals in all competitions this season)
Real Madrid to beat Manchester City at 3/4 (BetVictor)
Bradford City to beat Morecambe at 5/6 (Coral)