Preview: Manchester City vs. Real Madrid

Preview: Man City vs. Real Madrid
© PA Photos
Sports Mole previews the Champions League tie between Manchester City and Real Madrid, where nothing but a win will do for Roberto Mancini's men.

Manchester City welcome Real Madrid to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday needing a miracle to progress to the Champions League knockout stages.

The Premier League champions are winless in their opening four group matches and thus need victories from their final two games to have any chance of qualification.

Roberto Mancini may recall Pablo Zabaleta to his starting lineup, having rested the Argentine for the thrashing of Aston Villa on Saturday.

On the opposite side of the City defence, Gael Clichy could miss the match through injury, with Alexander Kolarov likely to deputise.

Mario Balotelli has not been included in City's last two matchday squads but could take a seat on the bench alongside Edin Dzeko, should Mancini choose to partner Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez in attack.

Long-term absentees Gonzalo Higuain and Marcelo are Madrid's only fitness worries after Fabio Coentrao and Alvaro Arbeloa made their injury comebacks this week.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stoppage-time winner in the reverse fixture earlier this season and the Portuguese star will be aiming for more goals when he comes against the club apparently courting his services.

Recent form:

Man City: WWDDWL
Madrid: WWDWWL

Possible lineups:

Man City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov; Barry, Garcia, Toure; Silva, Aguero, Tevez

Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Alonso, Khedira; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema

Sports Mole says: 2-2

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27233179205972
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27175551193256
3Liverpool27159361313054
4Chelsea27165649232653
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs27157552242852
6Arsenal27136851361545
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10Bournemouth2787123141-1031
11Watford2786133747-1030
12West Ham UnitedWest Ham2779113446-1230
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2777132536-1128
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton27610112236-1428
15Crystal Palace2769122542-1727
16Swansea CitySwansea2776142037-1727
17Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2776142347-2427
18Southampton27511112840-1226
19Stoke CityStoke2767142753-2625
20West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom27311132140-1920
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