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Manchester City logo
Champions League | Quarter-Finals | 2nd Leg
Apr 17, 2024 at 8pm UK
Etihad Stadium
Real Madrid logo

Man City
1 - 1
Real Madrid

De Bruyne (76')
Grealish (59'), Gvardiol (61'), Rodri (90')
FT
(aet)
Rodrygo (12')
Carvajal (38'), Mendy (90+4')
Real Madrid win 4-3 on penalties

Preview: Manchester City vs. Real Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Manchester City and Real Madrid, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

After the first leg lived up to the hype and then some, Manchester City and Real Madrid cross paths once again for the return fixture in their Champions League quarter-final at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.

An evening of spectacular strikes at the Santiago Bernabeu saw the two European titans share the spoils in a 3-3 thriller last week, and the reward for Wednesday's victor will be a semi-final test versus either Arsenal or Bayern Munich.


Match preview

Manchester City players celebrate after Bernardo Silva scores their first goal on April 9, 2024© Reuters

Encounters between Man City and Real Madrid in the Spanish capital rarely fail to live up to the pre-game billing, and last week's first leg was no different, as Rodrygo's trickling effort and a Ruben Dias own goal cancelled out Bernardo Silva's fizzing free kick during a frenetic opening 15 minutes.

Another pair of world-class strikes from Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol saw the tide turn yet again, but Carlo Ancelotti's troops had one last trick up their sleeve - potentially the most astonishing of the night - as Federico Valverde's exquisite volley capped off a six-goal extravaganza.

Coincidentally, six goals have also been registered in each of Man City's last two Premier League contests, but Pep Guardiola's men have come out on the correct end of the scoreline each time, coming from behind to conquer Crystal Palace before the weekend's 5-1 dismantling of relegation-threatened Luton Town.

The smiles etched across the Citizens' faces would not have faded on Sunday either, as Arsenal and Liverpool's humbling home losses means that the treble winners boast a two-point advantage at the summit of the Premier League rankings - far from insurmountable, though, despite the affirmations of some pessimistic Gooners and Reds.

Now unbeaten in 27 matches across all tournaments since December's lowly loss to Aston Villa, City have more than just a semi-final place on offer this week, as progression would also see the hosts equal a club-record 42-game unbeaten streak on home turf, a feat set all the way back in 1921.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti reacts on April 9, 2024© Reuters

Not since November 2022 - before the Qatar World Cup - have Man City emerged from an Etihad encounter on the wrong end of the scoreline, but Ancelotti's Real Madrid are no strangers to extraordinary Champions League comebacks against their counterparts in sky blue.

Thanks to Valverde's vicious volley with 11 minutes of normal time remaining last week, Los Blancos are yet to taste defeat in the 2023-24 Champions League and head to Manchester with a 100% record from their four away games in the current edition, albeit winning all of those contests by just the one goal.

However, a solitary strike from Aurelien Tchouameni - suspended for Wednesday's contest - was coincidentally enough to propel Real Madrid to a 1-0 beating of Mallorca in the weekend's La Liga battle, keeping Ancelotti's champions-elect eight points clear of Barcelona at the top of the table with seven games remaining.

Real Madrid's unbeaten sequence may not be as noteworthy as their hosts', but a 15-game streak without being bested is still nothing to be scoffed at, and the 14-time Champions League winners have some Mancunian history on their side ahead of Wednesday's midweek sojourn to the north of England.

Indeed, the visitors have only managed to advance from two of their last 10 Champions League ties when failing to triumph in the opening leg, but both were against Manchester United in 1999-00 and 2012-13. Against the Red Devils' noisy neighbours at a ground where they were crushed 4-0 last year, though, that may not bear much significance.

Manchester City Champions League form:


Manchester City form (all competitions):


Real Madrid Champions League form:


Real Madrid form (all competitions):


Team News

England's John Stones shakes hands with manager Gareth Southgate after sustaining an injury on March 26, 2024© Reuters

Guardiola and co were able to revel in a quadruple fitness boost for the weekend's visit of Luton, where Phil Foden - substituted with a knock in the first leg - and the ill Kevin De Bruyne both made the squad alongside Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake.

As a result, there is nothing to suggest that the quartet will not be fit to start the return fixture, and the holders' only minor concern relates to John Stones, absent from the thrashing of Luton due to a niggle, although Guardiola affirmed that the Englishman was suffering from discomfort rather than something more sinister.

Stones was present in training on Wednesday along with both Walker and Ake, so the Citizens could have every single one of their troops available at a pivotal time in the season. Recalls are in order for the likes of Rodri, Silva and Foden after the trio enjoyed well-earned breaks on Saturday.

In contrast, Real Madrid still have long-term ACL victims Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba watching on from the infirmary, but Eder Militao is slowly regaining match fitness and was brought on for the dying embers of last weekend's triumph over Mallorca.

The Brazilian could now be an option to step in for the banned Tchouameni, absent on account of picking up his third yellow card of the current Champions League season, although he has curiously been included in their travelling squad.

Militao's lack of minutes will work against him, though, so club captain Nacho Fernandez ought to be given the nod alongside Antonio Rudiger in the heart of defence, allowing Eduardo Camavinga - whose strike cannoned off Dias into the back of the net at the Bernabeu - to strut his stuff in midfield again.


Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Gvardiol; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Foden, Haaland, Doku

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Lunin; Carvajal, Nacho, Rudiger, Mendy; Valverde, Camavinga, Kroos; Bellingham; Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr


SM words green background

We say: Manchester City 3-2 Real Madrid (Man City win 6-5 on aggregate)

Twenty-three goals have flown into the back of the net during City and Real's last five contests - an average of 4.6 per game - and another engrossing encounter ought to be on the menu between two sides boasting fully-fit attacking contingents.

There ought to be no repeat of the four-goal drubbing dished out by Guardiola's charges a little under 12 months ago, but with the holders imperious on home soil - albeit without the defensive solitude to match - we expect Man City to remain on course for back-to-back continental triumphs and inflict a familiar sense of Mancunian misery on Los Blancos.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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How you voted: Man City vs Real Madrid

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Real Madrid
37.7%
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Real Madrid's Rodrygo on March 31, 2024
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QCopenhagen62228
3Galatasaray61235
4Man Utd61144

Group B

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QArsenal641113
QPSV62319
3Lens62228
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Group C

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3Braga61144
4Union Berlin60242

Group D

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3Benfica61144
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Group E

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Group F

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Group G

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Group H

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4Antwerp61053


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