Real Madrid play their second leg match against Manchester City on Friday. It’s been along time coming, but the Champions League will finally be back in action as Real hope to overcome a 2-1 deficit.
This will be one of the toughest matches all season for the La Liga champions. They looked in great form since the restart, but will unfortunately be without their captain and arguably most important player Sergio Ramos.
Manchester City finished the Premier League season 2nd, trailing 18 points behind the league-winning Liverpool. Don’t let the points differential fool you, this City team is full of talent and are a formidable opponent as we saw in the first leg.
Two of the world’s finest managers. Two of the world’s top clubs. It’s a clash of the titans at the Etihad Stadium and Real Madrid must put forth their best if they hope to make another memorable European night on the road.
Real Madrid have a relatively healthy team with both James and Gareth Bale being omitted from the matchday squad. Ramos has been listed in the squad despite serving suspension.
Sergio Aguero is a serious doubt for City after receiving knee surgery in Barcelona. They will also be without left back Benjamin Mendy due to suspension.
Ederson; Walker, García, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gündogan; Mahrez, Sterling, Gabriel Jesus
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Militão, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco, Hazard, Benzema
With Sergio Ramos serving suspension it’s clear Eder Militão will likely slot in his place.
The right side up top is always a question as Zidane likes to go with a rotation rather than a set starter. There’s a chance Isco gets a shot to start in this all-important match. Marco Asensio is a good option as well.
Hazard was reportedly dealing with discomfort during training, but should be in the starting lineup come kickoff.
Manchester City—Real Madrid 1-3
This is what it all comes down to for Real Madrid. A win sees them progress into the next round of the Champions League. Lose and they finish the season as Spanish champions, but finish way short of European glory.
Manchester City are as good as any club you will find in Europe. Real saw firsthand how devastating City are going forward. Kevin De Bruyne has been amongst the best players in the world this season; Real can not let him have the freedom he had in the first leg to dominate.
It will be a night to watch Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane go head-to-head and try to crack each other’s squads. We’ll have to see what tricks each brings out of their respective bags.
Real need two goals to have the chance to advance. It’s fairly unlikely City don’t score at least one goal. It’s a tough mountain to climb, but Zidane and Real Madrid of all others know how to get things done on a Champions League night.
Real treated each match of the La Liga restart as a final, they must do the same in Manchester. This is what makes the Champions League great as we watch two great clubs pursue their hopes of advancing to the next round.