Ronaldo back but Zidane predicts pain for Madrid

3 May

  • Joe Hart helped City hold Real Madrid to a 0-0 draw in last Tuesday’s first leg
  • Cristiano Ronaldo declared fit after missing Madrid’s last three outings
  • Hosts without Karim Benzema and Casemiro; City missing David Silva
  • Ronaldo needs one goal to equal European Cup record for most in a season
  • Manchester City press conference scheduled for 19.00CET

Possible lineups
Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Modrić, Kroos, Isco; Bale, Jesé, Ronaldo.
Out: Benzema (hamstring), Casemiro (hip)

Man. City: Hart; Sagna, Otamendi, Kompany, Clichy; Fernando, Fernandinho; Navas, De Bruyne, Sterling; Agüero.
Out: Silva (hamstring)
Doubtful: Touré (muscular problem)

Zinédine Zidane, Real Madrid coach
Cristiano [Ronaldo] is fine, 100%. There’s no risk – he’s training. He’s improved over the last week. He is a player who looks after himself and recovers quickly.

Exclusive Cristiano Ronaldo interview

It will be a disaster if we don’t go through. This will be a tougher game than the first leg because we know it will all be decided. They have good players, especially up front, but we’ll play our football as always. We won’t have the same game as the second leg against Wolfsburg. We can’t think we’ll score two or three inside 15 minutes. It’s a different game and we know we’ll suffer from the first minute to the 90th. We need to be patient and calm.

We need to think about playing football, pressing high up and being intense. We also know we are playing a very difficult opponent who will make things difficult. There’s no special plan for [Sergio] Agüero, who is a fundamental player for them.

Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester City manager
Press conference scheduled for 19.00CET.

First-leg highlights: Hart keeps Madrid at bay

Weekend results
Real Sociedad 0-1 Real Madrid (Bale 80)
Third-placed Madrid registered their tenth consecutive Liga victory, their best run since 12 in a row from 20 September to 12 December 2014, despite the absences of Ronaldo and Benzema. Gareth Bale earned the Merengues maximum points, heading in Lucas Vázquez’s cross. Zidane gave a third Liga start to 19-year-old forward Borja Mayoral, the joint all-time leading scorer in the UEFA Youth League.

Southampton 4-2 Manchester City (Long 25, Mané 28 57 68; Iheanacho 44 78)
Agüero remained on the bench as fourth-placed City lost on the south coast despite two goals from 19-year-old Kelechi Iheanacho, who has now struck four in his last two Premier League appearances. Pellegrini made eight changes from the side which drew against Madrid last week.

What happened when the teams met in 2012?

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Real Madrid: WDWWWW

Reporter’s view: Joseph Walker (@UEFAcomJoeW)
Real Madrid will be confident of reaching a second final in three years. The Merengues are yet to concede at home in this season’s competition, scoring 18, meaning Pellegrini’s side face a difficult task if they are to shut them out. One consolation for City is that Ronaldo will, at the very least, surely be short of match sharpness due to his recent hamstring injury, while Benzema and Casemiro are big losses for Zidane. The visitors’ best chance is to open the scoring early on.

Did you know?
City manager Pellegrini was in charge of Madrid in 2009/10 yet was replaced despite achieving a then-club record of how many Liga points? Find the answer, as well as various other facts and stats, in our extensive match background.

San Siro legends Francesco Toldo, Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi and Javier Zanetti on the Milan final


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