Manchester City take on Real Madrid in a mammoth Champions League semi-final showdown this week.
The European giants are top of the Premier League and La Liga respectively and will now collide for a place in the showpiece final.
Real head to Manchester for the first leg before City travel to Spain and both matches should be thrilling.
City, who smashed Watford at the weekend, edged past Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals and are eager to finally win their first Champions League crown.
Real, the 13-time winners of Europe’s top prize, have been in brilliant form recently and saw off Chelsea to reach the final four.
The winner of this tie will take on Liverpool or Villarreal in Paris on May 28 and talkSPORT will be at the Etihad to see who can secure the advantage in this semi-final first-leg blockbuster.
Man City v Real Madrid: How to listen
This match will get underway at 8pm on Tuesday, April 26.
Full coverage from the Etihad will be live on talkSPORT, with our pre-match build-up starting at 7pm.
Adrian Durham will be your host and commentary will come from Jim Proudfoot and former City winger Trevor Sinclair.
To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2, click HERE for the live stream.
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Man City v Real Madrid: Team news
City full-back Joao Cancelo is suspended for this tie in a defensive headache for Guardiola.
Kyle Walker is struggling with an ankle injury while John Stones has a muscle problem.
City also have fitness concerns over Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias has only just returned from a longer term issue.
Guardiola has no new issues at the other end of the pitch and it remains to be seen if Gabriel Jesus will start following his four-goal hail against Watford.
For Madrid, Modric was rested in their win over Osasun at the weekend while they have doubts about David Alaba’s fitness.
Man City v Real Madrid: What has been said?
Rodri believes City’s thrashing of Watford at the weekend was just the tonic needed heading into the visit of Real.
“You have these games – Liverpool-Atletico-Liverpool-Atletico – and it is so demanding,” said the Spain international.
“At the end of this period you are a little bit… ‘phew’. You need to breathe a little bit.
“We now face Real Madrid in the best moment and we’ll see.
“We know exactly how they play. This is a team that, of course, have the experience of the competition and wait for their opportunity.
“They are not consistent over 90 minutes but are always dangerous. We have to be aware.
“The first game is here at home so we have to do our best but – the way I saw our team in this match – I’m not worried.
“Maybe after the FA Cup match (against Liverpool) I felt the team were a bit weak and tired, but not in this game. It makes me hope the team is going to be good.”
Man City v Real Madrid: Match stats and facts
- This will be the seventh meeting between Manchester City and Real Madrid in European competition, with each of the previous six coming in the UEFA Champions League since 2012-13. After failing to win the first four (D2 L2), the Citizens won both legs in the Round of 16 against them in this competition in 2019-20.
- Real Madrid winger Vinícius Júnior has made more progressive carries of 10+ meters than any other player in the UEFA Champions League this season (62), while no player has generated more shots following a carry (moving 5+ meters with the ball) than the Brazilian in this season’s competition (21 – 10 shots, 11 chances created).
- Only Kingsley Coman (4.1) has a higher expected assists (xA) total than Manchester City’s João Cancelo (3.6 xA) in the UEFA Champions League in 2021-22, indicating the quality of chances created by the Portuguese this season. The third-ranked player for expected assists this season, meanwhile, is Real Madrid’s Vinícius Júnior (3.4 xA).
- Karim Benzema has scored 12 goals in nine appearances for Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League this season, including a hat-trick in his previous trip to England earlier in the month (v Chelsea at Stamford Bridge). Only one player has netted more away goals against English sides in a single UEFA Champions League campaign, with Serge Gnabry netting six for Bayern Munich in 2019-20 (four v Spurs, two v Chelsea).
- Raheem Sterling has netted 24 goals for Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League. If he scores in this game, he would overtake Paul Scholes (24) and trail only Wayne Rooney (30) for the most goals scored by an English player for an English team in the competition’s history.
- Carlo Ancelotti has won 74% of his games in charge of Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League (26/35), the best win percentage for any manager with at least 20 games for a single club in the competition.
- Pep Guardiola (four wins) and Carlo Ancelotti (two wins) have faced each other on six previous occasions as opposing managers – all four of Guardiola’s wins came against Ancelotti’s Everton (three in the Premier League, one in the FA Cup), while the Italian’s two victories came in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2013-14, with his Real Madrid side beating Bayern Munich 5-0 on aggregate.
- Real Madrid have only won one of their last six away games against English teams in the UEFA Champions League (D2 L3), although that victory did come against Chelsea earlier this month. No team has ever beaten two different English sides away from home in the knockout stages in a single UEFA Champions League campaign.
- Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has eliminated Real Madrid from the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League on two previous occasions, beating them 3-1 on aggregate in the 2010-11 semi-finals with Barcelona and 4-2 on aggregate in the 2019-20 Round of 16 with Manchester City. Guardiola is looking to become the first manager to eliminate Real Madrid from the UEFA Champions League on three occasions.
- Real Madrid haven’t won any of their previous three trips to face Manchester City in European competition (D2 L1), with the most recent two also coming in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League – 0-0 in the 2015-16 semi-final first leg and 1-2 in the 2019-20 Round of 16 second leg.
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