LIVE | Champions League semi-final 1st leg: Manchester City v Real Madrid

LIVE | Champions League semi-final 1st leg: Manchester City v Real Madrid

After seeing off Iberian opponents in both prior knockout rounds (Sporting Lisbon and Atletico Madrid), Manchester City take on another in the form of Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday, 26 April.

Kick-off is at 21:00 SA time.

After their Gabriel Jesus-inspired 5-1 demolition of Watford kept them on top of the Premier League at the weekend, taking on the 13-time European champions will surely be a sterner test.

Playing at home in the first leg helped against Atlético (W 1-0), in what turned into Manchester City’s fifth consecutive European home game against Spanish opponents without defeat (W4, D1) – a run that includes a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid back in August 2020.

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Although Manchester City have injury and fitness concerns over several defenders, they’ve only conceded twice across their last four Champions League home fixtures.

As Real Madrid move closer to the La Liga title after beating Osasuna 3-1 last time out, they’ve injury problems of their own with David Alaba and Casemiro to undergo late fitness tests.

However, after keeping just one clean sheet in seven competitive fixtures (W5, L2), their much-vaunted attacking line-up may feel under pressure to perform if they’re to avoid a repeat of the two head-to-head defeats in 2019/20.

Having led his side to a 3-1 away win over last season’s Champions League winners Chelsea earlier this month, manager Carlo Ancelotti will hope for a repeat against last term’s runners-up.

‘Los Blancos’ should take some confidence from claiming their first win in four attempts in England (D1, L2) with that Chelsea triumph, although they’ve never won at the Etihad Stadium (D2, L1).

Manchester City will take on Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday, 26 April. Photo: Twitter @ManCity

MANCHESTER CITY V REAL MADRID

Players to watch

Kevin De Bruyne scored the only goal in Manchester City’s quarter-final tie, and he opened the scoring in four of his last five goalscoring outings. Meanwhile, Vinícius Júnior created one goal in each of Real Madrid’s last three Champions League games.

Hot stat

Real Madrid have scored an average of 2.75 goals per game across their last four Champions League away fixtures (W3, L1).

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