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UCL Preview: Real Madrid hope for miracle against Manchester City

Real Madrid have released their squad list to battle Manchester City in the return leg of the round 16 of the UEFA Champions League tie.…

Real Madrid have released their squad list to battle Manchester City in the return leg of the round 16 of the UEFA Champions League tie.

The 13 times UEFA Champions League winners suffered a 2-1 defeat at Santiago Bernabeu against Guardiola’s men before the suspension of the league due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in which its captain, Sergio Ramos, saw a red card that led to his suspension.

Despite his suspension, the Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, named Sergio Ramos in the 24-man squad to travel to Manchester on Friday.

The squad list comprises of three goalkeepers; Courtois, Areola and Altube, defense; Nacho, Sergio Ramos, Eder Militao, Raphael Varane, Carvajal, Javi Hernandez, Ferland Mendy and Marcelo, midfield; Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Isco and Fede Valverde while forward consist of Benzema, Hazard, Lucas Vazquez, Luka Jovic, Asensio, Brahim Diaz, Vinicius Jnr and Rodrygo.

Once again, Gareth Bale has been left out of the squad.

The host, Manchester City recently landed two new players to fill the gap Guardiola deemed necessary to keep City abreast of the challenges in the league.

City landed Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake and Valencia’ Ferran Torres to boost their capacity in the competitions.


Guardiola says Zidane is unoredictable

In a press conference on Thursday, Manchester City manager said: “It’s been a long time since we played the first leg.

“This is a different game.

“(We all) miss spectators; it’s a reality.

“If they return, it must be secure for everyone.

“If we want to win this competition, we have to be better in this area (reacting in bad moments).

“Whether I play against Madrid or not, I will always be a Barcelona supporter – they gave me a part of who I am.

“When I play against Barcelona, I want to beat them.

“Nothing special, honestly.

“I want to win for our players and our club to go to the next step.

“I have the feeling today we are ready to play tomorrow, have a good performance and win the game.

“That’s my feeling: we are ready.

“To win the #UCL, you have to beat teams like Madrid.

“We have to win tomorrow and the next rounds.”

“It’s difficult to know [Zidane’s] tactics.

“When you think you know, he will come up with something different.

“We’ve watched all the Madrid games since La Liga restarted and spoken about how we think they will start.

“But what we’ve done more of is talk about what we can do,” he said.


Previous statistics

It could be recalled that Real Madrid have won their last seven away matches in the Champions League’s Round of 16.


Meanwhile, in their five previous matches, both teams have won two games each and drew one.

Manchester  City lead the tie with a 2-1 victory and would leverage on its 2 away goals in case of a strict challenge by the Zidane’s led Madrid.

On Friday, attentions will be tilted to Etihad stadium ahead of the showdown between not just the English and the Spanish giants but also two incredible coaches in the game.

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