Real Madrid – Manchester City
Real Madrid welcomes Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu in a first game from the Champions League 1/8-finals on Wednesday. This is arguably one of the biggest derbies in the competition so far this season.
Real Madrid are the most successful team in the history of the Champions League, having won it 13 times so far – including three times under the management of Zinedine Zidane. Last year Los Blancos had a dissapointing performance against Ajax in the 1/8-finals, so now they are determined to do much better and progress in the tournament. The club’s manager Zinedine Zidane is still unbeaten in a Champions League knockout tie, so the French manager is going to be the club’s biggest weapon.
What’s worrying about Real Madrid though is their current shape. The team won just one point in their last two games in La Liga against Celta Vigo and Levante, which is the reason why they lost the first place in La Liga to Barcelona. On Saturday the team traveled to Valencia to face Levante, but suffered a 0-1 defeat.
Real Madrid’s most ambitious summer signing Eden Hazard still can’t impress with the white shirt. The Belgian star is once again injured and he’s going to miss most of the game until the remainder of the season.
Manchester City are still trying to win their first Champions League title in the club’s history. This is going to be Pep Guardiola’s fourth attempt to bring the trophy to the Etihad. Last season City got eliminated in a very dramatic tie against Tottenham Hotspur.
Man City’s Champions League hopes are now boosted by the return of the team’s best defender Aymeric Laporte. With him leading the defense, the Cityzens kept two clean sheets in their last two matches against West Ham United and Leicester City. In the last game Guardiola also kept the captain David Silva on the bench, giving him rest.
We have many different reasons to expect a spectacle between Real Madrid and Manchester City in the Champions League. These two teams are among the contenders for the trophy, so it should be really good to watch.