Real Madrid v Manchester City Team News
Manchester City have been boosted by the availability of Raheem Sterling for Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg with Real Madrid.
With the Premier League title almost certainly heading to Liverpool, City, although Pep Guardiola won’t admit it, are putting everything in to their Champions League campaign.
Guardiola was drafted in to bring European silverware to the Etihad Stadium but they have failed to make it beyond the quarter-final stage since his appointment in 2016.
13-time European champions Real Madrid will look to deny City the chance to progress beyond the first knockout stage but will need to earn a positive result in Wednesday’s last-16 first-leg tie.
Big one tomorrow, Blues 👊
🔵 #ManCity #UCL pic.twitter.com/2ySB5FgcGW
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 25, 2020
Los Blancos have struggled for form in the build-up to this clash, drawing at home to Celta Vigo and losing at Levante.
However, they are a different beast when it comes to European football and cannot be overlooked by the Citizens.
Forward Eden Hazard, who joined from Chelsea over the summer, sustained a fractured ankle against Levante on Saturday and could miss the rest of the season.
Marco Asensio remains sidelined with a serious knee injury but Gareth Bale is expected to come back in to the team after missing the weekend’s outing due to illness.
City might be on the verge of conceding their Premier League title, however, they could still end the campaign with three pieces of silverware.
The Champions League is regarded as a top priority and victory over Real would send out a statement to the rest of their rivals.
Sterling’s timely return to fitness is a much-needed boost for the Citizens after spending three weeks out with a hamstring problem.
David Silva could also be involved following a minor knee issue but Leroy Sane is unavailable as he continues to recover from a long-term knee injury.
City have never earned a win over Real Madrid in four previous Champions League meetings with the English side losing both of their away games and drawing twice on home soil.