Manchester City vs Real Madrid Predicted Lineups: Will Pep Guardiola Welcome Back Nathan Ake?

Manchester City vs Real Madrid Predicted Lineups: Will Pep Guardiola Welcome Back Nathan Ake?
9th May 2023; Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid, Spain, Champions League Football, Semi Final, First Leg, Real Madrid versus Manchester City; Haaland and Camavinga tussle for the ball near the Madrid box - Photo by Icon sport

Manchester City are set to take on Real Madrid on Wednesday night in what is the most hotly anticipated club football match of the season. After an enthralling 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu last week, the tie is on a knife edge as both sides look set to do battle once again at the Etihad Stadium.

City will be full of confidence going into the match after an emphatic 3-0 win over Everton in the Premier League on Sunday. The victory, in addition to Arsenal’s defeat at home to Brighton, means that the Blues have all but secured their third consecutive Premier League title with just one more win now needed.

Real Madrid, on the other hand, completely neglected their league duties this weekend and Carlo Ancelotti made nine changes to his starting lineup. Camavinga and Courtois were the only two players who started the win over Getafe on Saturday night who are likely to play against the English champions on Wednesday night which means fatigue and freshness shouldn’t be an issue for Ancelotti’s men.

The big match is set to kick off at 20:00 UK time and viewers will be able to watch full coverage of it on BT Sport.

Manchester City Team News: Nathan Ake loses the race to play against Los Blancos

After coming through the victory over Everton with no injuries, despite some heavy challenges on Jack Grealish in the second half, Pep Guardiola has the exact same group of players available to him that he had for the first leg. Unfortunately, that does mean that Nathan Ake is once again Unavailable with Guardiola telling reporters in his pre-match press conference that “except Nathan, everyone is fit.”

Ake has been a revelation for the Blues this season and has excelled at left-back since Joao Cancelo moved to Bayern Munich in January. In the Dutchman’s absence last week, Manuel played on the left and struggled at times against Rodrygo on the Real Madrid right flank. Akanji will almost certainly play again on Wednesday night and will look to perform better against the young Brazilian.

Elsewhere, Guardiola is likely to go unchanged from the team that drew 1-1 at the Bernabeu. Although City weren’t at their best in Madrid, they did still come away with a draw and should perform better at home. The only potential change that Guardiola may consider will be to bring in Phil Foden or Riyad Mahrez for Bernardo Silva on the right wing.

As always, City’s dangerman will be the lethal Erling Haaland. Antonio Rudiger did a good job on the Norweigan goal machine last week and will need to be at his very best once again if he is to have any chance of keeping Haaland quiet.

Real Madrid Team News: Camavinga passed fit after injury scare against Getafe

Eduardo Camavinga has been used at left-back in recent months and has done a good job there for his side despite being a natural central midfielder. The young Frenchman was selected at the weekend but was forced off late after a hefty challenge.

There had been some doubts in the Spanish media about whether or not the 20-year-old would be available for the trip to Manchester but Luka Modric confirmed yesterday that Camavinga is fit and ready to play if selected. Like Guardiola, Ancelotti has very little reason to change his starting eleven for this one with quality all over the pitch.

One consideration for the Italian will be to bring Federico Valverde from the start in place of Toni Kroos in midfield. Kroos is one of the best midfielders of his generation but at 33, he isn’t as mobile as he once was and City will be tenacious at home. Bringing in the energetic Valverde could be tempting to combat that, but the expectation is that Kroos will retain his place in the team due to his quality on the ball and big-game experience.

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