Manchester City’s Champions League campaign gets back underway this evening as they welcome Real Madrid to the Etihad.
It has been six months since Pep Guardiola’s men came back from 1-0 down to beat Madrid 2-1.
After falling behind to an Isco goal in the 60th-minute Pep’s players needed to regroup quickly to keep themselves in the tie.
Impressively, that is exactly what they did. Two goals in five minutes from Gabriel Jesus and a penalty from Kevin De Bruyne saw the comeback completed. A red card for club captain Sergio Ramos saw things go from back to worse for Los Blancos.
Since that game in February a lot of things has changed for both sides. The lockdown of countries in and around Europe saw both English and Spanish domestic competitions postponed. Both leagues did resume with remaining games played behind closed doors.
Disappointingly, Man City would finish second in the Premier League winning eight of their last 10 games. Despite that strong finish, they would still finish 18 points behind the champions, Liverpool. There was more disappointment as City crashed out of the FA Cup losing 2-0 in the semi-final to Arsenal. After suffering disappointment at the end of the season, Pep’s side will be looking at a first Champions League trophy to salvage their season.
Over in La Liga, it was an impressive end to the season for Real Madrid under Zinedine Zidane. The Spanish side won 10 out of 11 games to become La Liga champions. If they were to win the Champions League as well it would cap off an impressive season.
The team news for Man City sees the home side without Sergio Aguero again through a knee injury. First choice left-back Benjamin Mendy will miss the game through suspension after picking up a yellow in the first game. That suspension could see Joao Cancelo play in his place.
The team news for Real Madrid sees Gareth Bale left out of the travelling squad for this vital game. With Bale not suffering an injury this is a big call from Zidane. The away side will be hopeful that Hazard is fit to start after suffering from injuries this season. A huge miss for the game is club captain Sergio Ramos who misses the game after picking up a red card in the first leg.
Man City team prediction: Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Mahrez
Real Madrid team prediction: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Militao, Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Hazard, Benzema, Asensio