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Champions League, Round of 16, second leg: Manchester City vs Real Madrid – Preview, Team News and Lineups

Champions League: Manchester City vs Real Madrid
Gabriel Jesus after scoring the equalizer at the Bernabeu. (Picture Source: Twitter)

Real Madrid will travel to the Etihad stadium eying to nullify the deficit caused by the Cityzens in the first leg of Round of 16 by bagging home two crucial away goals and a victory when they paid a visit to the Spanish Capital city on 26th of February which turned out be Real Madrid’s last Champions League game in their fortress with spectators presence. Manchester City outclassed the Spanish Champions both mentally and physically on that night, handing Los Blancos an up-hill task to do in the subsequent leg in Manchester.

Real Madrid will have to cross the Atlantic and reach Manchester without the Governor-general of Real Madrid’s Defence Sergio Ramos, as he was shown a Straight Red Card by the Italian referee when the skipper tried barricading Gabriel Jesus and made an attempt to canvas a missed pass by the defensive-minded midfielder, Casemiro. Forthrightly speaking, Real Madrid fans have more trust on the Frenchman on the side-line Zidane than the starting eleven one as “Zidane was never knocked out of the competition managing Real Madrid”. 

 Things might not go smoothly for Zidane’s men this time considering parameters such as suspensions and less goal contributors. This is the prime time for 100 million Euro-star, Eden Hazard to thrive. The Belgian himself has admitted that the first season for Real Madrid went shambolic. The FIFA 20 Cover star still has the luxury to defy all the odds when he returns to England for the first time a Madrid Winger and help his side face either Lyon or Juventus in the single-legged quarter-finals in Portugal.

Also read: Barca vs Napoli – Preview, Team News and Line-ups

Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos most importantly has fond memories in that country as both inspired Real Madrid to achieve La Decima for the club. Even City’s Bernardo Silva won’t let the opportunity down to play this competition on his home soil. This will be an evenly contested match with both the managers working tirelessly on papers and injecting the same on to their respective players in the training facilities. Now Real Madrid made it official that they will be contesting for a Quarter-Final berth with the new 2020-21 Season kit. Los Blancos might sport their new pink kit under the floodlights for the first time on the return.

Pep Guardiola will expect his troops to finish off the leg with a win to prevent Real Madrid from entering the further stage. Pep Guardiola will have to fit in a player who can replicate Benjamin Mendy on the left flank as he is suspended for the clash against the European giant. Former Borussia Dortmund man Gundogan has revealed that the preparation for the match is going on full swing and they are also ready to pull out a victory without the club’s all-time top goal contributor, Sergio Aguero which means Gabriel Jesus will have to fill Aguero’s void and repeat the heroics of 1st leg at the Etihad this time.

Without any hesitation, we can say that it will be a sleepless night for both sides either by breaking their TV sets or by clashing their wines glass with joy and celebrating their team’s progress. This clash will turn out to be a modern Champions League classic as one manager is so determined to hand his side their maiden European triumph while the other manager will try reflecting the club’s legend by adding 14th to the club’s history and 4th on his personal note as a manager.

Team News

Man City

Unavailable players: Benjamin Mendy, Sergio Agüero, Pedro Porro, Zack Steffen Philippe Sandler

Ederson; Kyle Walker, Fernandinho, Aymeric Laporte, Joao Cancelo; Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne; Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez

Real Madrid

Unavailable players: Mariano Diaz, Sergio Ramos

Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Eder Militao, Ferlan Mendy; Casemiro, Luca Modric, Toni Kroos; Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio

Stat Corner

  • Real Madrid are unbeaten in the away leg of the round of 16 for the last 7 seasons
  • ‌Real Madrid was never knocked out of Champions League when Zidane is in charge.
  • ‌Ajax knocked out Real Madrid in Ro16 last season in the absence of Sergio Ramos, same situation prevailing this season too as Ramos is unavailable.

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