UEFA Champions League 2023 Semi-Finals, Real Madrid vs Manchester City Match Preview: Guardiola vs Ancelotti to light up the big stage
UEFA Champions League 2023 Semi-Finals, Real Madrid vs Manchester City Match: It is a rematch that a lot of people had anticipated. The last time Real Madrid and Manchester City went head-to-head in the UCL was last season's semi-final
The UEFA Champions League (UCL) 2023 semi-finals are going to start on Wednesday (past midnight, India time). With just four teams left to compete in Europe's biggest club football tournament, here is a preview of the matches that have been lined up.
The matches will be played in two legs, and each team will play each other twice in a span of one week. Each team will play one home match and one away match, and the team with the most goals in aggregate will advance to the finals. Even if one team loses the first leg, but wins the second leg by a large enough margin, they will be a step closer to lifting the Champions League trophy.
The first match that is scheduled to be played is between Spanish side Real Madrid and English side Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu — the home ground of Real Madrid. As per India time, the match will be played on Wednesday, May 10th, at 12:30 AM IST.
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It is a rematch that a lot of people had anticipated. The last time Real Madrid and Manchester City went head-to-head in the UCL was last season's semi-final. In the course of two legs, both teams won the match that they played on their home turf. But Real finally got the better of the Pep Guardiola-managed-side as they made a brilliant comeback with two injury-time goals from their Brazilian youngster Rodrygo. Madrid emerged victorious thanks to a penalty converted by their captain, Karim Benzema, in extra time. They went on to the finals and beat English side Liverpool to win their 14th Champions League trophy.
UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals 2023 - Real Madrid vs Manchester City: Head-to-head record
Real Madrid and Manchester City will meet for the ninth time in the Champions League. Each team has won three times and drawn twice. City has won three of their last four meetings.
UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals 2023 - Real Madrid vs Manchester City: Current form
It is a task for both teams, and they don't want to let go of this opportunity so easily. Both teams are in great form right now. Real Madrid recently lifted the Copa Del Rey trophy (Spanish Cup), beating Spanish side Osasuna 2-1. Manchester City is also in great form; they are now on a 20-match undefeated streak in all competitions. And with both teams in such good form, the match is bound to be exciting.
UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals 2023 - Real Madrid vs Manchester City: Injury List
Both teams are expected to start their best players for the match, but due to injury, Madrid full-back Ferland Mendy and midfielder Dani Ceballos and City midfielder Cole Palmer have been ruled out. City defender Nathan Ake and Madrid's playmaker Luka Modric are also doubtful to be included in the matchday squad. Besides injuries, Madrid's defender Eder Militao will miss out due to a yellow card suspension.
UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals 2023 - Real Madrid vs Manchester City: Squads, Playing 11
Real Madrid squad: Thibaut Courtois, Andriy Lunin, Luis López*, Lucas Cañizares*, Diego Piñeiro*, Dani Carvajal, Éder Militão (suspended), David Alaba, Jesús Vallejo, Nacho, Álvaro Odriozola, Antonio Rüdiger, Ferland Mendy, Rafel Obrador*, Rafa Marín*, Alvaro Carrillo*, Vinicius Tobias, Marvel*, Toni Kroos, Luka Modrić, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde, Lucas Vázquez, Aurélien Tchouameni, Dani Ceballos, Mario Martín*, Carlos Dotor*, Sergio Arribas*, Peter*, Óscar Aranda*, Nicolás Paz*, Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, Vinícius Júnior, Rodrygo, Mariano Díaz, Iker Bravo, Álvaro Rodríguez*.
Real Madrid's manager, Carlo Ancelotti, is expected to start in a 4-3-3 formation. Belgian shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois is expected to start in the goal. Eduardo Camavinga and Dani Carvajal are likely to feature as the full-backs, along with Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba as the likely centre-backs. In the midfield, Luka Modric*, Federico Valverde, and Toni Kroos will start, along with Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo on the wings. Karim Benzema will likely start as the lone striker.
Manchester City squad: Stefan Ortega, Ederson, Scott Carson, Kyle Walker, Rúben Dias, John Stones, Nathan Aké, Aymeric Laporte, Sergio Gómez, Manuel Akanji, Rico Lewis, Kalvin Phillips, İlkay Gündoğan, Jack Grealish, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Máximo Perrone, Phil Foden, Cole Palmer*, Erling Haaland, Julián Álvarez.
Pep Guardiola's starting line-ups are anything but predictable. However, it is speculated that the City manager will play a 3-4-2-1 formation with Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, and Manuel Akanji as the back three. With two holding midfielders in John Stones and Rodri, and Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish on the flanks. Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan as the attacking midfielders, and up top, Erling Haaland as the striker. Brazilian Ederson Moraes will be Pep's preferred goalkeeper for the fixture.
UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals 2023 - Real Madrid vs Manchester City: Pep Guardiola vs Carlo Ancelotti Head-to-head
Both Guardiola and Ancelotti are known as tactical masterminds. They have faced each other for a total of eight matches. Pep has the upper hand so far. He won five out of the eight games, while Ancelotti's teams have won the remaining three.
(* = Doubtful)