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We witnessed a spectacular match: Man City vs Real Madrid – Preview

The match between Man City and Real Madrid was a thrilling one for the history books. The defending champions took the lead twice, but were ultimately denied a famous win in Madrid by Fede Valverde’s 79th-minute wonder goal.

This Wednesday, two of the world’s most renowned managers of the last decade, Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti, will once again cross paths as one of the Champions League favorites bids adieu to the possibility of winning silverware.

For Cityzens, these grounds will be familiar, as they left Madrid with a draw (1-1) in the semi-finals of the UCL last season before heading to the finals with a 4-0 win over Los Blancos.

Although it’s Madrid, you can never write off Real Madrid. This match is shaping up to be one of the most exciting games in recent times.

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When and Where?

Date: Wednesday 17 April.
Kick-off time: 20:00 (UK)
Venue: Etihad Stadium

Studying the first leg – Real Madrid vs Man City

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It was an aggressive game from both managers in the first leg, at least in the first half, as Pep Guardiola conceded a bit on the aggressiveness in the second half. It was maybe exhausting on City players as they ran themselves to ground in the first half, and a bit of exhaustion forced Pep to concede his aggressive nature of play. These are just maybes, as from a technical point of view, it was Real Madrid’s aggressive pressing strategy that proved highly successful, as City were rattled by Ancelotti’s constant pressure, which forced turnovers and disrupted City’s rhythm before they could build any momentum offensively.

Madrid succeeded in crowding out City’s central midfielders, even when they played wide. Players like Bernardo Silva and Kovacic would often drop into central areas to receive the ball, but Madrid’s midfield trio of Kroos, Camavinga, and Valverde effectively shut them down. Ancelotti successfully played havoc in Manchester City’s usual keeping the ball approach while limiting their ability to find space to feed the front line.

It was the second half where a bit of exhaustion came into play as a shift in Madrid’s approach helped the Manchester Blues start to grow into the game. Allowing the City midfielders more space helped the likes of John Stones and Phil Foden operate at will while creating space and exploiting the gaps in the hosts backline. Although both clubs scored some stunning goals in a goal fest, City’s ability to dictate the tempo and find space ultimately had a domino effect on Madrid’s change in tactics.

While Real Madrid’s second-half approach resulted in a historic 3-3 draw, it raises the question of whether they can replicate their first-half pressing intensity at the Etihad Stadium, especially if Pep Guardiola’s side is still prone to uncharacteristic mistakes that they made under pressure in the first leg.

Team News

Kyle Walker missed the first leg with an ankle injury, which proved to be a big boon for the hosts. Although the England international has returned to the training camp and could be set to return to the line-up for the game against Madrid, This should come as a massive boost for City fans, as the 33-year-old kept Vinicius Jr. in his lane. Walker and Vinicius will also become an intriguing duel if the former Tottenham man is involved for Pep Guardiola’s side in the midweek.

Nathan Ake, who also missed the first leg due to a calf injury, is expected to be back for the second leg. While we can also see Ederson starting in goal for Manchester City.

These are some good news on the injury front for the Cityzens, who have had a few players on the sidelines throughout the season. However, at the moment, Pep Guardiola has a full squad available at his disposal.

For Real Madrid, Alaba and Courtois missed the first leg of the fixture and are set to continue their absence as both are sidelined for a prolonged spell on the sidelines. Carlo Ancelotti will also miss Tchouaméni from his available squad, as the French midfielder met the yellow card limit and will be suspended for the game.

Also read: Citizens On A Quest: Crystal Palace Vs Manchester City Match Preview

Predicted Lineups

Man City predicted XI vs Real Madrid: Ederson; Walker; Dias; Akanji; Gvardiol; Rodri; Kovacic; De Bruyne; Bernardo Silva; Haaland; Foden.

Misses next match if booked: Akanji, Rúben Dias.

Real Madrid predicted XI vs Man City: Kepa; Carvajal; Rudiger; Nacho; Medy; Camavinga; Jude; Kroos; Valverde; Rodrygo; Vinicius.

Misses next match if booked: Bellingham, Camavinga, Carvajal, Vinícius Júnior.

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