Manchester City v Real Madrid: In the Champions League semifinals, Pep Guardiola will face his old enemy Madrid for the second time, when City takes on the galacticos.
Throughout history, the Spaniard has dominated his former La Liga adversaries, and Man City enters this quarterfinal as heavy favorites, with Guardiola aiming for the title.
Guardiola has met Real Madrid three times in the Champions League, all in the knockout stage, and has won two of them, with losses in both legs in 2014 while at Bayern the only blemishes. Guardiola has beaten Madrid in four of the remaining six games, with the remaining two games ending in draws. He knocked Madrid out of the Champions League semifinals with Barcelona in 2011 as a route to winning the trophy, and he did the same with Man City in the 2020 Round of 16.
In fact, the two losses with Bayern represent half of Guardiola’s losses against Real Madrid in his 19 games against the club, with the rest of his La Liga games being lost by a single goal margin.
Guardiola must channel his prior success against the La Liga heavyweights if Man City aspires to win the Champions League for the first time.
Pep Guardiola says he’ll make a final judgment on Kyle Walker and John Stones’ fitness on Tuesday, before the first leg of our Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, but acknowledges the pair are ‘doubts.’
Walker has been out with an ankle injury since the second leg of our quarter-final clash against Atletico Madrid earlier this month.
Stones, however, missed Watford’s Premier League win last Saturday after coming out with muscle soreness during our 3-0 win over Brighton the week before.
The manager also disclosed over the weekend that both Kevin De Bruyne and Nathan Ake played through pain during the Watford victory.
Meanwhile, due to his ban, Joao Cancelo will be unable to play in the game.
Due to injuries, Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, and Mariano Diaz have been ruled out of the match and have not traveled to Manchester. David Alaba, Casemiro, and Ferland Mendy have all traveled to England, but their availability for the match will be determined on the morning of the match.
According to reports in Spain, Mendy and Alaba may be available for selection, while Casemiro may be left out. Carlo Ancelotti’s side has had a longer break in preparation for Tuesday’s match, with their last league match taking place on Wednesday. As a result, Real Madrid’s players will have a modest advantage over their opponents in terms of fitness.
Thibaut Courtois is a lock to start in goal for Real Madrid, and he will have a hectic night at the Etihad. If fit, Eder Militao and Alaba should play together in central defense. Nacho Fernandez should start at the heart of the Merengues’ defense if the Austrian isn’t ready. Fullbacks Dani Carvajal and Mendy should be lined up together.
With Casemiro’s participation in doubt, Federico Valverde could be charged with marking Kevin De Bruyne at the base of the three-man midfield unit. The remaining two places in the middle of the park should be filled by Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, who will give the attacking impetus and creativity.
Rodrygo Goes has been in excellent form recently and will likely start on the right-wing. In the last two attacking slots, Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior are certain starters.
- This will be Manchester City’s ninth match with Real Madrid in European play. Since 2012/13, each of the preceding six has taken place in the UEFA Champions League. Both teams have won two games out of six (D2), with the Cityzens winning the last two games of the season.
- Real Madrid has not won any of their past three European encounters with Manchester City (D2 L1).
- Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, has knocked Real Madrid out of the UEFA Champions League twice before, once in the 2010/11 semi-finals with Barcelona and again in the 2019/20 Round of 16 with Manchester City.
- Carlo Ancelotti has won 74 percent of his games in command of Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League (26/35), the best win percentage of any manager in the league who has managed at least 20 games for a single team.
- In the UEFA Champions League, Raheem Sterling has scored 24 goals for Manchester City. If he scores again, he will pass Paul Scholes (24) for the most goals scored by an English player for an English team in the competition’s history, trailing only Wayne Rooney (30).
City Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Ake; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Foden, Sterling
Madrid Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Valverde, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius
Match Kick-off Time
|Game||Manchester City vs Real Madrid|
|Date||Wednesday, April 27|
Manchester City 2-2 Real Madrid
Manchester City is a tough opponent, but Liverpool showed Real Madrid the way earlier this month when they drew with Pep Guardiola’s side in the Premier League before upsetting them in the FA Cup semi-finals. The Citizens have bounced back from their loss with victories against Brighton and Watford.
Carlo Ancelotti’s team, on the other hand, will want to follow Liverpool’s lead and have the tools to hit their opponents where it hurts. Real Madrid should be able to come away with a positive result from the Etihad, even if it is not an outright victory, given that they have already faced two major challenges in Europe from PSG and Chelsea. Given their pedigree in the competition, Real Madrid should be able to come away with a positive result from the Etihad, even if it is not an outright victory.