Champions League SF preview: Manchester City vs Real Madrid – Al Jazeera English


Thirteen-time winners face Manchester City in the first leg of the semi-final at the Etihad Stadium.
When: Tuesday, April 26
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Kickoff: 19:00 GMT
Real Madrid’s glittering history in the Champions League gives them an advantage when they face Manchester City in the first leg of the semi-finals, according to the Spanish side’s coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Madrid’s 13 European triumphs make them the most successful club in the competition while City only appeared in the Champions League final for the first time last year, when they were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea.
“The history that Real Madrid has in this competition means a lot more to us than to our rivals,” said Ancelotti in a press conference on Monday.
“That history that has grown over the years helps the players feel the weight of the shirt, a weight that is positive, not negative.”
Pep Guardiola admitted Manchester City cannot compete with Real Madrid’s European pedigree but said they can write a new chapter of their own.
“If we had to compete with history, we wouldn’t have a chance,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference. “Their history speaks for itself.
“We have to have the desire to compete against them. To play against Real Madrid is an incredible test. We want to try it. We need to suffer, to stick together, when we have the ball, try to attack.”
Real Madrid have dominated the Champions League semifinals 😤 pic.twitter.com/K626JaH8jc
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 25, 2022
City and Real also met in the semi-finals in 2016 when the Spaniards won 1-0 on aggregate, but City avenged that loss with a last-16 triumph in 2020.
Real Madrid have had a tough route to the final four in Europe’s premier competition, having to come from behind to beat both Paris Saint-Germain and last year’s winners Chelsea.
The main concerns for City heading into the game relate to their defence. Right-back Kyle Walker and centre-back John Stones remain doubtful after recent injuries and the other first-choice full-back, Joao Cancelo, is suspended.
This echoes the quarter-final of two years ago against the same opponents when Fernandinho played as a makeshift centre-back.
Real Madrid and Manchester City have met on six occasions in the Champions League with both sides winning two each.
The other two resulted in draws.
Real Madrid are 13-time European champions.
The Spanish side are competing in the semifinals for the 10th time in 12 seasons.
Real making a record 15th semifinal appearance.
Man City’s passing accuracy in this season’s tournament is almost 91 percent.
The English side averages 2.4 goals per match.
Getting ready to face Real 💪#ManCity #UCL pic.twitter.com/dOXmyGDWC4
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 25, 2022
Ancelotti: “We are very close to playing another final of the most important competition in the world and we are worried because we are facing a very strong team. There are two teams in the semi-finals that nobody was expecting to reach it; Villarreal and Real Madrid. We are very happy to be here and to compete. What I can tell you is that Real Madrid is always going to compete, we are doing it and we will do it tomorrow and then next week.”
Guardiola: “We have to have the desire to compete against them. To play against Real Madrid is an incredible test. We want to try it. We need to suffer, to stick together, when we have the ball, try to attack. We play against players who have been in this position many times. That’s why they have things that maybe still we don’t have. But maybe there are things we have they don’t have, I don’t know. At the end it is 11 v 11. I say to the players ‘enjoy that moment’. You never know if we will be back here at any stage.”
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