Real Madrid, Manchester City face-off in Champions League semis
Ten time European champions Real Madrid will face English giant Manchester City in the second leg of UEFA Champions League semi final in Santiago Bernabeu. Real is aiming their eleventh title, while City is looking for their first European league final.
The Spanish side is looking to make what would be its 14th final in Europe’s elite club competition, while City has already broken new ground in the tournament this season by making it past the last-16 for the first time.
Real has more advantage in the second leg as the first leg played in the Etihad stadium was a draw. The big news from the Real camp is that their star striker Christiano Ronaldo is fit to play against the England side. The former Manchester United forward has missed Real’s last three games – including the goalless draw in the first leg at the Etihad Stadium last week – with a thigh injury.
But he returned to training on Sunday and has since played a full part in training ahead of second clash at the Spanish capital, leaving Zidane convinced he is ready to return.
“Cristiano is okay. He is 100 percent. He trained this morning and he will be there tomorrow. The whole week, little by little, Ronaldo has been recovering. That’s how it is with this player,” said Zidane in a pre-match press conference.
The Portugal international is the top scorer in this season’s Champions League with 16 goals from 10 appearances and his return for Wednesday’s second leg represents a huge boost for Real.
But fellow striker Karim Benzema and midfielder Casimero will miss the match, as they are not fit and will not be risked.
City goes to Madrid knowing a scoring draw is enough for it to qualify for a first ever Champions League final. But City suffered a 4-2 premier league defeat at the hands of Southampton on Sunday where coach Manuel Pellegrini made eight changes. City midfielder Yaya Toure is back in the team after missing the last two games. Samir Nasri and Daivd Silva will miss the return leg.
The winners will face Atletico Madrid in the final on 28 May in Milan, Italy.