The Santiago Bernabeu is set for an action-packed Champions League semifinal as Manchester City travel all the way to the Spanish capital to face Real Madrid in a bid to book a place in the final against Atletico Madrid.
Last night Atletico made it into the UCL final after overcoming the mammoth task that presented itself in the form of keeping Bayern Munich at bay in front of their home fans.
Atleti were underdogs going into the two-legged tie, but they were able to produce the goods that have led them into European club Football’s biggest stage.
Manchester City is arguably the underdogs going into the game at the Bernabeu considering the difference in club stature between the two sides.
This is the first time that Manchester City have made it this far in the Champions League, and they’re well aware of the fact that they could very well come out with a win against Los Merengues even though it seems like a difficult task.
Most people say the thing that differentiates most of the top clubs from the average sides are the magic moments they muster up in the face of adversity. It’s safe to say that both teams have extremely able players who can make something out of nothing but are those players going to be the difference between winning and losing?
This season’s Champions League doesn’t seem to be down to skill and attacking prowess, with the way things have panned out all season long it’s safe to say that it’s all about who wants it the most and how hard they’re willing to work for it.
Atletico Madrid went up against one of the most dominant forces in world football today, and they came out on top because of their belief and hard work.
Manchester City can do the same against Real Madrid as they have the added incentive of never winning the competition as well as the fact that this is Manuel Pellegrini’s last chance to cement his name in the hearts of all Manchester City supporters.
Real Madrid is expected to put their best efforts to take advantage of home ground with Manchester City fully cognizant of the fact that a goal-scoring draw will send them through to the finals via the away goal rule.
To end his City career on a dazzling note, Pellegrini would love to win the tie, and he may instruct his players just to attempt to match Madrid in every area of the pitch in a bid to keep the two clubs level on goals.
Madrid are going to be keen on controlling the game from the onset which means Manchester City may not get many chances to score so they’ll have to be extremely lethal with their finishing to turn their expectedly few chances into goals.
There’s some good news for Real Madrid fans as Ronaldo will be 100% fit for the tie although Casamiero and Benzema are set to miss out according to Zidane.
Ronaldo has recovered from a recent hamstring injury that saw him miss out on Madrid’s last three games including the first leg of the UCL tie. There’s no doubt that he’ll be rearing to make an impact in the fixture.