The Etihad could be a crucial factor in Manchester City’s clash with Real Madrid

Manchester City will head into Wednesday evenings UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid with the tie delicately poised at 3-all. Last week’s enthralling encounter between the two teams has set up the potential for another classic at the Etihad Stadium. But the fact that the game is played at the home of European champions could be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the quarter-final tie.

Following their 5-1 win over Luton Town at the Etihad on Saturday, Manchester City are now unbeaten in 41 games in all competitions at home. The unbeaten streak is a testament to Manchester City’s dominance at home. Backed by their passionate home support, it has become a fortress. Pep Guardiola’s side has made the Etihad one of the most feared venues for opposing sides to visit.

Real Madrid know this better than most. The European champions 4-nil win over the La Liga giants in last season’s Champions League speaks to this. Following the decisive rout Spanish publication Marca said (which was relayed by talkSPORT) this about the atmosphere Real Madrid were faced with: “The Etihad is a boiler that has nothing to envy to that of its Old Trafford neighbours. The difference is that all their lives they lost and now they win. The atmosphere was possibly the harshest Madrid had encountered in many years. A complete trap.”

READ MORE: As the pressure rises Manchester City are now in control of their own destiny.

That same trap awaits Real Madrid on Wednesday evening. Carlo Ancelotti’s side won’t fear playing at the Etihad, but they know the cauldron that awaits them. They also haven’t won in their previous 5 visits to the home of the world champions. To progress to the semi-final stage of this seasons Champions League Real Madrid must break that hoodoo against a hungry and determined Manchester City.

The fact that the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie between the two sides is played at the Etihad could be crucial in deciding Wednesday evening’s game. Games are won on the pitch, but City backed by their passionate home support are a tough nut to crack. Pep Guardiola and his team will be hoping that their unbeaten streak extends to 42 games come the final whistle on Wednesday evening.

Tags Carlo Ancelotti Etihad Stadium Manchester City Pep Guardiola Real Madrid UEFA Champions League UEFA Champions League quarter-final