This has everything to do with the fact that Manchester City has never really made the UEFA Champions League a top priority. Until now.
Seeing as their chances at winning the Premier League are dashed, Manchester City has a unique opportunity this year. The club is used to being an underdog. For years, they were one of the worst teams in the Premier League until a new owner picked up the club with every intention of making it a competitor.
Their city rivalry with Manchester United was mainly one-sided, seeing as Manchester United had been the dominant force in English football for decades. Manchester City? Never an Engish powerhouse. However, within the past decade following a new owner, and management shakeups, Manchester City has been a force that teams dread playing against.
And that's what Real Madrid should feel.
If I were a fan of any team other than Real Madrid, I would feel like as soon as my club met them, it'd be game over. Real Madrid's management, team makeup, and of course their financial power, makes them arguably the greatest force in European football.
Manchester City have an opportunity to put themselves on that kind of pedestal. But it must come with a win against Real Madrid tomorrow.