Sports

Man City v Real Madrid: What’s in store for next week’s second leg?

Manchester City claimed the initiative in their Champions League semi-final against real Madrid with a 4-3 first leg win on Tuesday.

But after such a compelling and open contest, the tie is far from over.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at City’s stance ahead of next week’s second leg at the Bernabeu.

What happened in Manchester?

Pep Guardiola’s side were exhilarating in attack and carved out plenty of chances apart from the four they scored. They could even have put the tie out of sight in the first half hour, such was their early dominance.

Will City regret having only one goal in advance?They could. The Premier League leaders will no doubt be encouraged by how easily they’ve gotten through Real at times and in that sense, they have nothing to fear at the Bernabeu. But the atmosphere will be hostile and their defensive weaknesses will have given Real hope, especially with players like Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior looking deadly.

How much did they miss Joao Cancelo?

Cancelo missed the first leg through suspension (Mike Egerton/PA)

(PA wire)

The Portuguese was sorely missed as he served a one-game ban after picking up his third booking of the competition against Atletico Madrid last time out. With Kyle Walker also out through injury, City lacked momentum in the full-back positions. John Stones was himself sent off from injury to play at right-back but it backfired as he limped off to be replaced by veteran midfielder Fernandinho. It really was a band-aid solution.

Will he be back next week?With his excellent delivery and power in attack, Cancelo will almost certainly return to give City additional options on the right or left – depending on Walker’s fitness – next week.

How’s Walker?

Walker has an ankle injury (Nick Potts/PA)

(PA wire)

It remains unclear. The England right-back has missed four games since being sent off with an ankle problem in that bruising quarter-final second leg against Atletico a fortnight ago. Guardiola has so far been vague about the seriousness of the problem. He said last week Walker was “much better” and might have had a chance to play on Tuesday, but that obviously didn’t happen.

What awaits the two teams this weekend?While Real are on the verge of winning the Spanish title, and could therefore rest a number of key players without fear against Espanyol this weekend, for City things are not so simple. With just one point between them and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League, they have little room for error as they travel to Leeds on Saturday.

Will City rotate their squad to Elland Road?

Record signing Jack Grealish could return to the side to face Leeds (Martin Rickett/PA)

(PA wire)

Guardiola will no doubt make some changes with Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish as likely starters. But there are fewer opportunities for rotation in defense. Guardiola is also said to be reluctant to rest talismanic Kevin De Bruyne, although his thinking could be influenced by the outcome of Liverpool’s result at Newcastlewhich takes place earlier in the day.

Man City v Real Madrid: What’s in store for next week’s second leg?

Source link Man City v Real Madrid: What’s in store for next week’s second leg?

Back to top button