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Manchester City vs Real Madrid preview

After a thrilling 3-3 draw in the first leg, Manchester City will welcome Real Madrid to the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. In the first leg, both teams pulled back no punches, scoring some of the best goals of the entire season. And while it will only be a week since the teams met, a lot has changed.

Over the weekend, Manchester City received a major boost in the Premier League titles. This was because their rivals Liverpool and Arsenal both lost at home. This has allowed City to go top of the table with a two-point lead and seven games to go. Pep Guardiola’s men, like always, have peaked at the right time.

The defending champions have yet to lose a single game in the Champions League this season. In fact, before the first leg against Madrid, the Citizens had won every game in the competition. One of the major improvements that the team has made is the support that Erling Haaland has received. Haaland and Julian Alvafez scored six goals, while Phil Foden also scored five goals.

Real Madrid are also top of their league table but have a six-point lead over Barcelona. They are also undefeated in the Champions League till now. Rodrygo and Jude Bellingham are the top scorers, each with four goals. Bellingham and Vinicius Jr have been the creator-in-chiefs with four assists each to their name.

Los Balcos are in imperious form in the league and are currently on a 25-game unbeaten streak. Carlo Ancelotti’s men have only lost two games throughout the season. Both City and Madrid have a considerable advantage in the league. However, both are also in a contention for a treble which makes this a must win game for both the teams.

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Manchester City vs Real Madrid predicted lineups 

Manchester City lineup 

In the first leg, City were without the services of Kevin de Bruyne, Kyle Walker, and Nathan Ake. All three returned against Luton, but only de Bruyne started the game. However, the triumvirate is more than likely to feature in the return leg. Josko Gvardiol, who performed brilliantly in the first leg, is likely to keep his place on the team.

The return of de Bruyne will give City a creative edge in the midfield. John Stones didn’t even make the bench for the game against Luton. However, Guardiola alleviated concerns, stating that it was a precautionary measure and the defender would start the second leg.

Manchester City starting XI: Ederson: Gvardiol, Stones, Dias, Walker: Silva, Rodri, de Bruyne: Foden, Haaland, Grealish

Real Madrid lineup

Real Madrid suffered a massive blow in the first minutes of the first leg when Aurelien Tchouaméni was given a yellow card. This means that he is suspended for the return leg. Nacho, who played on the weekend against Mallorca, will take his place on the team. Luka Modric and Tchouameni started in the midfield, but Toni Kroos and Eduardo Camavinga will return for the game. Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr. were also rested for the league game, meaning they will be fresh for the clash.

Real Madrid starting XI: Lunin: Mendy, Nacho, Rudiger, Carvajal; Valverde, Camavinga, Kroos; Bellingham; Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr

Manchester City vs Real Madrid predictions 

The first leg was probably the most entertaining game of the Champions League campaign. And with the way the two teams operate, the return leg is likely to be as entertaining, if not more. This is the third consecutive time the two teams have faced each other in the Champions League.

In the 2021-22 season, Madrid made a late comeback to win the game and the title. A year later, City returned the favour, going on to win their first title in history. City have the home advantage, something they used to trash Madrid 4-0 almost a year back.

And with the return of their first team players, City have too much firepower for their Spanish counterparts.

FootTheBall predicts a 3-1 win for Manchester City.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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