The first leg of the Champions League semi-final tie between Manchester City and Real Madrid takes place at the Etihad this week, with Pep Guardiol and Carlo Ancelotti’s sides set to face off.
Man City reached the semi-final stage of the competition after two gruelling quarter-final games against Atletico Madrid, while Real Madrid largely had to rely on the brilliance of Karim Benzema to progress at the expense of Chelsea.
For Guardiola, he has a number of defensive issues to think through ahead of this one.
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Joao Cancelo will be a big miss as he collected his third yellow card of the competition in the last game against Atletico, meaning he will serve a suspension.
Kyle Walker hasn’t played since suffering an ankle injury in the first leg versus Atletico, but Guardiola spoke of his confidence that the England international might recover in time for the semi. John Stones isn’t fully fit due to a muscular issue, which means Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias will continue at centre-back.
Oleksandr Zinchenko was impressive in the 5-1 weekend win against Watford, so should retain his place at left-back.
Fernandinho might drop to the bench, but to keep some steel in there, Ilkay Gundogan might partner Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri.
That will mean Bernardo Silva playing in a more advanced role down the right, with Phil Foden on the left. Gabriel Jesus scored four against Watford and might just have played himself into the starting XI.
Real Madrid also have injury issues as David Alaba and Casemiro are doubts. Marca reports that the duo have not completed a training session ahead of the game, but that they could still feature if they prove their fitness on the day of the match.
Nacho will deputise for Alaba if the latter isn’t fit.
Ferland Mendy could return at left-back after being out injured.
With Casemiro a doubt, Eduardo Camavinga could come into midfield alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
Federico Valverde will play in a hybrid role on the right of the attack while helping out in midfield, with Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema making up the front three.
Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz are injured.
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