Manchester City will play Real Madrid for the right to square off against Atletico Madrid in this season’s Champions League final. Atletico pipped Bayern Munich on away goal rule last night and now wait for tonight’s winners to headline Champions League final in Milan on May 28, 2016.
First leg between City and Madrid ended in a 0-0 draw which must give The Citizens a fighting chance as even a 1-1 scoreline will be enough for Manchester City to qualify for the final.
Manuel Pellegrini had rested all his key players over the weekend and will be able to field his strongest XI including Vincent Kompany and David Silva.
Real Madrid are also delighted to welcome Cristiano Ronaldo back in the starting XI after the Portuguese star missed first leg with a hamstring injury.
Ahead of a pulsating encounter at Santiago Bernabeu, we take a look at the three key questions which ought to be answered wen Manchester City take on Real Madrid in Champions League semifinal second leg tie.
How will Cristiano’s return impact Man City’s plans?
First leg was a comfortable outing for Bacry Sagna who was left untested following a restrained performance from Real Madrid. However with Cristiano’s return, one expects City to be more on the defensive and look to play on the counter attack.
We can also expect either Fernando or Fernandinho to help out Sagna in dealing with Ronaldo and use the space left behind by the Portuguese superstar as his defensive work rate will not be that great.
Will Karim Benzema get a start?
The French striker was hooked at half time in the first leg after failing to have any impact at the Etihad. With Jese available as an option, we could see Zinedine Zidane opt for the more energetic striker against Manchester City to exploit a less than 100% fit Kompany.
How will Manchester City lineup?
Yaya Toure is no longer the automatic pick for Manuel Pellegrini and it looks like the big Ivorian will be benched for semifinal second leg as well.
Fernando and Fernandinho are expected to start from midfield while Silva, De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling could get a start behind the lone striker Sergio Aguero.
If City are planning to hit Madrid on the counter attack, they would need to use De Bruyne’s pace on the space left behind by Ronaldo and use Sterling’s dynamism from the other wing to hurt Real Madrid.
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