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Revealed: Why Kevin De Bruyne does not start for Manchester City against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League



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The reason for Kevin De Bruyne’s absence from the starting side for Manchester City’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg against Real Madrid has been revealed.

The 32-year-old was named amongst the substitutes for Manchester City’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday evening, despite a landmark performance against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.

De Bruyne became the 18th player to score 100 Manchester City goals at the weekend, netting twice during a 2-4 comeback win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League.

The Belgian star has made eight starts for Pep Guardiola’s side since returning from hamstring surgery in January, with the midfielder scoring on his first Champions League appearance of the season against FC Copenhagen in the last-16 in February.

The midfielder scored during a crucial 1-1 draw in the semi-final first-leg at the Santiago Bernabéu last season, but doesn’t start Tuesday’s quarter-final clash against the La Liga heavyweights.

De Bruyne was named amongst the Manchester City substitutes due to being ‘unwell’ according to numerous journalists, with reputable team news source FPLMaineRoad on X, claiming that the midfielder was initially expected to start in the Spanish capital.

Manchester City and Real Madrid are meeting in the competition for the third consecutive season in the UEFA Champions League, and the winners of the quarter-final tie will face either Arsenal or Bayern Munich in the semi-finals

The Sky Blues are unbeaten in Europe since a last-gasp loss to Real Madrid in May 2022, and are also currently on a 25-match unbeaten streak across all competitions.

Speaking pre-match, Guardiola confirmed De Bruyne’s absence due to illness, saying: “Vomits. (Pardon?) Vomits… He feels unwell. (Can he play?) I don’t know. We made a meeting, he was ready, and when we arrived, in the locker room he started to vomit, and he said, ‘I’m not ready’.

Real Madrid Team News

Starting XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Tchouameni, Rudiger, Mendy; Camavinga, Valverde, Kroos; Rodrygo, Bellingham, Vinicius Jr.

Substitutes: Kepa, Fran, Militao, Nacho, Modric, Joselu, Lucas V., Ceballos, Fran Garcia, Brahim, Guler.

Manchester City Team News

Starting XI: Ortega Moreno, Akanji, Stones, Dias (C), Gvardiol, Rodrigo, Kovacic, Bernardo, Foden, Grealish, Haaland.

Substitutes: Ederson, Carson, Doku, De Bruyne, Alvarez, Gomez, Nunes, Bobb, Susoho, Lewis.