Real Madrid vs Manchester City: Champions League semifinal clash of titans with high stakes and tactical battles
|Real Madrid is the boss when the champions league is the topic but can Manchester City lay their claims to their holy grail when both sides meet on Tuesday at the Santiago Bernabeu? (Photo credit: Super Sport)|
The first semifinal of the UEFA Champions League will see insatiable winners Real Madrid and glory-hunters Manchester City meet at the home of the reigning champions.
Real Madrid typically becomes monstrous when the Champions League gets to this stage, and Don Carlo, their enigmatic manager Carlo Ancelotti, has the technical know-how for this stage, and it’s never going to be easy for Manchester City.
The Premier League's reigning champions have all their attention on this trophy.
They are not tired of winning the Premier League, but if they have a gun to their heads and need to make a choice, the easy choice is the Champions League trophy.
Manchester City is in pole position to land the treble this season after hijacking the Premier League driving seat from Arsenal and qualifying for the FA Cup final.
They have booked a date with Manchester United but must overcome Real Madrid to win the big one.
Having failed repeatedly in the past, the presence of Erling Haaland makes City the overwhelming favourite, but Real Madrid is not a small fry in the context of the Champions League conversations.
The citizens will have to work hard for this.
How will they line up?
Real Madrid is expected to keep things simple; Camavinga has been converted to left back, and that is a position to look out for.
Luka Modric is injured, and the Los Angeles Lakers still have to sweat on their defensive pairings.
For Manchester City, you can’t predict Pep Guardiola’s choices, but high-flying Jack Grealish is expected to get the nod alongside Riyad Mahrez on either flank of their talismanic goal machine up front.
The return of Kevin De Bruyne means they have their magician when it matters.
Defensively, Ruben Dias and John Stones could be the way forward if Kyle Walker is preferred for his pace to stem the tide of Vinicius Jr.
Nathan Ake has the left side locked down, and unless Guardiola decides to push his own luck, the advantage should sit with him over two legs.
Karim Benzema is a player to look out for.
The Real Madrid striker is primed to deliver when it matters, and as a fine wine, he gets better with age; it will be up to the big Benz and the Norwegian Viking. Let the game begin!