Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s Champions League clash between Real Madrid and Manchester City, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
Following one of the most extraordinary Champions League the first legs of the semi-finals in recent memory, real Madrid and Manchester City will face off at the Bernabeu for the second leg on Wednesday night.
Pep GuardiolaThe team fought out a stunning 4-3 battle at the Etihad, but their hosts are no strangers to stunning European comebacks in the Spanish capital.
The confidence, audacity and panache to produce a panenka penalty in the Champions League semi-finals characterized the barnstorming season Karim Benzema currently plays for the new La Liga champions, who were indebted to their two star strikers at the Etihad in the first leg.
Benzema’s double on both sides Vinicius JuniorThe dazzling run and finish kept the tie for a Real side whose defense was also breached at will by the Citizens, who hit each other four times a Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden in the night.
Carlo AncelottiThe team quickly dusted off their shooting boots to hit Espanyol for four unanswered and confirm their status as La Liga champions with four games to play this weekend, and a domestic and European double would certainly remind the footballing world. their long-standing continental dominance.
While Los Blancos overturned a one-goal deficit to knock Paris Saint-Germain out of the tournament in this season’s round of 16, the capital side never reached the final losing the first leg of a semi-final, and history cannot repeat itself if a 14th European crown is to remain on the agenda.
It’s less than a month since an English side had a trump card on the Bernabeu turf, although Chelsea’s thrilling 3-2 win ultimately proved inconsequential, and it’s not since December 2018 that Real Madrid failed to score at home in the Champions League. – a streak that is unlikely to end against even City’s toughest backlines.
After dominating, beating and dominating Real Madrid for almost the entire first half at the Etihad, City will no doubt feel aggrieved to go to the Bernabeu only one goal clear, and there is still a lot of work to do. to do. done for a restless Guardiola, who is increasingly desperate for that elusive European title.
While Real Madrid confirmed their status as domestic champions with a 4-0 victory over the weekend, City’s identical victory over Leeds United leaves them just a point clear of Liverpool at the top, and the pressure could hardly weigh more heavily on the shoulders of the Citizens. right now.
Recent history certainly favors the Citizens ahead of their trip to the Spanish capital, with the Premier League leaders having only been knocked out in one of their last 10 Champions League appearances in the first leg win, and it dates back to Guardiola’s debut season. at Monaco.
Man City will bring a four-game winning streak in all competitions to Real’s headquarters – during which they’ve scored a remarkable 16 goals on a four-per-game basis – and they’ve also allowed just one goal in their last nine games on the road, but that might not count for much against Benzema and co.
City’s first leg win over Real was their third straight win against the 13-time European champions – only two sides Ajax and Bayern Munich have won four in a row against them – and the second leg certainly did. a lot to do. after the marvelous spectacle served on both sides in M11.
Real Madrid Champions League form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
Manchester City Champions League form:
Form of Manchester City (all competitions):
Real Madrid boss Ancelotti took a risk by rushing David Alaba back for the first leg following his injury problems, and the Austrian was taken off at half-time at the Etihad and then missed the decisive victory against Espanyol alongside Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale and Luka Jovic.
Ancelotti claimed last week that Alaba should line up well for the second leg this week, where Eder Militao and Nacho Fernandez will also return from domestic suspensions to form a top-choice Blancos full-back.
The likes of Benzema, Vinicius, Toni Kroos and Ferland Mendy were all on the bench this weekend with this meeting in mind, and Rodrygo hope to retain their place in the final third after starting the first leg and scoring a brace against Espanyol.
As for Man City, Guardiola will host Joao Cancelo back with open arms after his first-leg suspension, but the Catalan manager admitted that Kyle WalkerThe ankle problem could prevent him from playing for the rest of the season.
Nathan Ake trailed with a bang in the win over Leeds and will have to be rated alongside John Stonesso it could be another rough night for Oleksandr Zinchenko to the left of the defense of the City.
De Bruyne, Silva and Riyadh Mahrez are all set to return to the first XI after being named as a substitute at Elland Road, while Real arch-nemesis Gabriel Jesus prepares to lead the charge midway through his goalscoring streak.
Possible starting line-up of Real Madrid:
Courteous; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.
Possible starting lineup for Manchester City:
Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Jesus, Foden
We say: Real Madrid 2-2 Manchester City (Man City win 6-5 on aggregate)
Sitting and holding what they have will arguably only end one way for a Man City side whose best form of defense is to attack, especially with Benzema and Vinicius Junior capable of scoring goals out of nowhere. for the Spanish champions.
Guardiola’s side could have easily rocked the net on several occasions at the Etihad, and while Casemiro’s presence is a huge boost for the hosts – whose European us cannot be questioned – City can fighting back several times himself to progress to their second final in as many seasons.