Connect with us

Match Coverage

Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden both start, Mateo Kovacic returns to bench – Predicted XI: Manchester City vs Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final Second-Leg)



| Last Updated:


Manchester City host Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final second-leg on Wednesday evening after a 3-3 draw in the Spanish capital just over a week ago.

It was a scintillating affair in Madrid last Tuesday, as the two European giants traded blow after blow once again in another all-time showdown between the two sides in the UEFA Champions League.

Pep Guardiola’s side went a goal ahead early on thanks to Bernardo Silva catching the Real Madrid goalkeeper asleep from a free-kick. However, Manchester City’s Santiago Bernabeu history caught up on them as they conceded two scrappy goals in quick succession.

A pair of wonder goals from Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol respectively saw the Premier League take a deserved lead in the second-half, but a stunner of their own saw the La Liga giants respond and take a draw back to Manchester.

Injuries shaped the story in the first-leg, as Manchester City fought without Nathan Ake and Kyle Walker. In good news this time around however, Pep Guardiola had a full squad to work with in his final training session of the week on Tuesday.

With some fitness questions yet to be answered, let’s take a look at how Manchester City might set up Wednesday evening, with a place in the UEFA Champions League semi-final stage up for grabs!

Predicted XI

Ederson will return in goal for Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League after Stefan Ortega played the first-leg and without too much to be blamed for. It is however time for City’s number one to find his form once again following injury.

As you will see, we believe there will be no changes to the Manchester City back-four from the first-leg, despite Pep Guardiola’s defence somewhat struggling to deal with the Real Madrid counter-attack at times.

Manuel Akanji and Josko Gvardiol will more-than-likely take up the full-back positions, with Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake likely still at the back-end of their rehabilitation processes. With plenty more mammoth games on the horizon, Guardiola may feel it a risk to start them.

In between those two will be the vintage pair of John Stones and Ruben Dias, though the former will likely peruse into midfield as he likes to do when Manchester City have possession of the ball.

Into the all-important midfield ranks and it is quite blatantly obvious that Manchester City’s mainstay in the defensive role, Rodri will return from his weekend off to take his usual operation in front of Guardiola’s defensive unit.

Joining the aforementioned Spaniard will be Bernardo Silva, who will surely push forward when John Stones steps up from defence into defensive midfield to help Rodri shield the back-four.

In attack, Jack Grealish is Manchester City’s key man in these big names, and he will take his usual spot out-wide on the left, looking to control possession of the ball for the squad in attacking areas.

On the other flank will be the in-form man for the Blues, Phil Foden. The Stockport native was on the scoresheet in the first-leg, and will be looking to replicate that Player of the Match showing once again.

That of course leaves the central duo of Kevin De Bruyne, who will likely sit in behind Erling Haaland. That duo will have to have a big game if Manchester City are to get anything from the showdown on Wednesday night.

Starting XI: Ederson; Akanji, Stones, Dias, Gvardiol; Rodri, De Bruyne, Foden, Bernardo, Haaland, Grealish.

Substitutes: Ortega, Carson, Walker, Ake, Gomez, Kovacic, Nunes, Bobb, Doku, Alvarez.