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HomeAnalysisManchester City vs Real Madrid: Preview, Predicted Line-Up and Team News

Manchester City vs Real Madrid: Preview, Predicted Line-Up and Team News

Man City will host Real Madrid on Wednesday night at the Ittihad Stadium as football fans await another great encounter.

This is the most anticipated clash in Europe this season. Man City and Real Madrid are the past two winners of the UEFA Champions League. They are also the top two favorites to lift the prestigious trophy this season. Both teams are top of their League, having a decent chance to win. They met for the third year in a row in this competition and it looks like the team that wins tonight, is the king of European football right now.

Real Madrid vs Man City: What Happened in the First Leg?

The first leg in Madrid was one of the best matches in recent years. It was an end-to-end game between two heavyweights that are feared the most this year. City took the lead in the first minute with Bernardo Silva’s free-kick. However, the hosts responded well and scored two quick goals to turn the thing around. Madrid was lucky for the deflections that led to both goals, but they played better in the first half and looked in control.

In the second half, Man City started to play like everyone expected and they equalized through Phil Foden’s great strike. Minutes later, Josko Gvardiol scored from a distance to put the visitors ahead but Real Madrid bounced back again. The host drew level with ten minutes to go, through Federico Valverede’s fantastic volley. The match finished 3-3 and both managers seemed quite satisfied.

Photo via GettyImages

Man City vs Real Madrid: Second-Leg Preview

Manchester City will start the game with their usual approach. They’ll try to control the game right from the start by pressing hard and closing down spaces, putting Real Madrid under pressure. Pep Guardiola knows that their opponents pose a significant threat in counterattacks, and they should never be underestimated.

Ancelotti’s boys have shown time and again over the years that they can capitalize on the slightest mistakes and turn the game in their favor. Look at the first-leg game where Real Madrid, despite being under pressure in the early minutes, managed to score two goals in three minutes and take control of the game from Man City. Therefore, Guardiola will aim for his players to deliver a flawless performance throughout the game and maintain their focus in every minute.

Manchester City is a different team this year. On one hand, they lack the cohesion and complete team structure they had last year when they won the treble, especially vulnerable in defense. On the other hand, they have Phil Foden at his peak, who has been their most influential player in this season’s results. In the first-leg game, despite not having a good performance overall, he turned the game in their favor with his beautiful goal.

Manchester City’s attacking players are in very good form. Besides Foden, Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish performed very well since returning from injury. Grealish was their best player in the first-leg game, and De Bruyne, who missed the first leg due to illness, has been scoring crucial goals and assists for his team this month. Additionally, they have Bernardo Silva, who has always played well against Real Madrid, and in the first-leg game, he scored a goal. However, the most attention might be on Erling Haaland, who has failed to score in the last three games against the European giants. The Norwegian superstar, who has received a lot of criticism for his performances in big games, has the opportunity to prove himself once again in this game.

Real Madrid look to avoid last season’s disaster

On the other side, Real Madrid enters the Etihad Stadium with both hope and concern. They haven’t had a good performance in Manchester in the past two years. Madrid knows that to advance to the semifinals, they must defeat their opponents, whom haven’t beaten in the knockout stages of the Champions League in six years. They need to capitalize on their chances, just like in the first half of the first-leg game or the game two years ago in this stadium.

Jude Bellingham, who has been Real Madrid’s best player this season and is considered one of the contenders for the Ballon d’Or, didn’t have a good performance in the first leg, being the only attacking player of his team who fell below the standard. The 20-year-old Englishman, who is one of England’s hopes in Euro 2024, returns to his country to prove that he can still be effective in a big game. He is one of the most complete players in the world right now and can take full advantage of the slightest mistakes from the opposition defenders.

Real Madrid’s strength in the first leg was their counterattacks and using the space behind Manchester City’s defenders. They will try to do the same in this game as well, using the pace of Vinicius and Rodrygo to exploit these spaces. The presence of Kyle Walker to contain Vinicius could be one of the key matchups in the battle of the two European heavyweights. Another player Guardiola should be wary of is Federico Valverde. The Uruguayan midfielder, who is one of the best in his position, scored a beautiful goal in the first leg and might be the most important player for his team in this decisive encounter.

Team News and Injuries

Photo via Reuters

Man City has almost everyone available for this match. Ederson and De Bruyne started against Luton on Saturday and should be in the XI. Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake are back in the squad and they could into the game in the second half.

For Real Madrid, Tchouameni is suspended and will miss the second leg. Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba are still injured and did not make the squad. Eder Militao played a few minutes against Mallorca at the weekend, but he probably will not start from the beginning.

Predicted Line-up

Manchester City (3-2-4-1): Ederson; Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol; Stones, Rodri; Silva, Foden, De Bruyne, Grealish; Haaland.

Real Madrid (4-3-3): Lunin; Carvajal, Nacho, Rudiger, Mendy; Camavinga, Kroos, Valverde; Bellingham, Vinicius, Rodrygo.


In the last two years, Man City dominated Real Madrid in this stadium, scoring four goals in each match. However, their rival is a much better team than last year and Carlo Ancelotti has shown his tactical knowledge in these stages in the past, even against Pep Guardiola himself. We expect this tie to be a close one, but Man City has a better chance to go through.

Prediction: Man City 3-2 Real Madrid

Alex Lundy
Alex Lundy
A lifelong football fan, Alex loves to dabble in its history, especially FIFA World Cup. But his love for sports doesn't end at football since he loves watching NBA and Formula1 too. Reading novels and watching classic films takes the rest of his time.


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