Fabio Cannavaro names 'favorites' to reach Champions League final ahead of second leg showdown between Real Madrid and Manchester City

Fabio Cannavaro backs Real Madrid to beat Manchester City.
Fabio Cannavaro backs Real Madrid to beat Manchester City.

Real Madrid legend Fabio Cannavaro has named his former side as favourites to prevail over Manchester City and advance to the UEFA Champions League final.

Madrid and City are tied at 1-1 from the first leg following wonder strikes from Vinicius Junior and Kevin De Bruyne. It's all to play for heading into the second leg at the Etihad on Wednesday (May 17).

Many are tipping Manchester City as the favourites due, as Madrid are yet to win at the Etihad. However, Cannavaro disagrees, as he thinks Los Blancos have the edge with the scores level on aggregate. telling Diario AS:

"Real Madrid are the favourite with the score tied at 1-1."

Los Merengues do know how to overcome Pep Guardiola's side in the Champions League semifinals. They did so last season with a dramatic 6-5 comeback aggregate win. However, Carlo Ancelotti's side were beaten 4-3 at the Etihad in the first leg.

Manchester City are also Europe's in-form team, going unbeaten in their last 21 games across competitions. They're yet to taste defeat in Europe's elite club competition this season and haven't been beaten at home since November.

Real Madrid's Federico Valverde on why winning Champions League will be special

Valverde is eyeing more European glory.
Valverde is eyeing more European glory.

Real Madrid are targeting a record-extending 15th European title and their second Champions League triumph in a row. Ancelotti's side beat City in the semifinals before beating Liverpool to claim the trophy in Saint-Denis, Paris.

However, Fede Valverde has explained why winning the tournament on this occasion will be even more special (via MadridXtra):

“Winning the 15th UCL for Real Madrid will be incredible, as it will match with my shirt number.”

Valverde has worn the No. 15 shirt since arriving at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2018. He has won the tournament just once, last season, but deems it to be Madrid's competition:

“Playing in the Champions League is special because it's Real Madrid's competition.”

The Uruguayan midfielder has been in fine form this season, adding goals to his game. He has scored 12 goals and contributed six assists in 51 games across competitions. That includes two goals and three assists in ten Champions League outings.

Valverde started in the first leg at the Bernabeu, playing the full 90 minutes. He may be key for Ancelotti's men when they make the trip to the Etihad next Wednesday. However, his side face Getafe in the league on Saturday (May 13) before that.

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Edited by Matthew Guyett
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