In this September 2019 file photo, Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the Group C Champions League soccer match between Manchester City and FC Shakhtar Donetsk in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
In this September 2019 file photo, Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the Group C Champions League soccer match between Manchester City and FC Shakhtar Donetsk in Kharkiv, Ukraine.|Efrem Lukatsky | Associated Press
Soccer

Champions League picks: Real Madrid vs. Manchester City — Which Cityzens will show up in Madrid today?

Sean Miller

Sean Miller

Manchester City has only been past the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League one time in its history.

In 2016, the Cityzens were deeper into the tournament than it had ever been, and then it ran into a defensive juggernaut: Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid.

Wednesday, Manchester City will once again go head to head with Zidane's Madrid, this time in the round of 16.

Of course, there is the two-year European ban hanging over the heads of City, which is due to start next season. Can the Cityzens make one last run with this team before the band disbands?

Knockout football is tough to predict; during the last two Premier League seasons, Manchester City complied 198 points and won two titles. The Cityzens could not get past the quarterfinals in either campaign, allowing five goals in 2018 in 2-1 and 3-0 losses to Liverpool, and four goals to Tottenham in a 4-3 win and a 1-0 loss.

If Manchester City cannot shut down Real Madrid, its European hopes will be dashed for years.

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UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND OF 16 FIRST LEG

Real Madrid (+180) vs. Manchester City (+143), draw (+250), 3 p.m. EST (TNT, UniMas, TUDN, and Fubo.tv)

THE PICKS:

Real Madrid pick (+107)

Over 1 goal first half Asian handicap (-150)

Real Madrid to qualify for next round (+170)

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