Real Madrid’s confirmed line-up vs Man City today: Champions League semi-final second leg
Ahead of today’s Champions League clash at the Etihad Stadium, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has made a bold selection call in central defence.
Real Madrid will today look to earn the opportunity to defend their Champions League title in next month’s final against Inter, who sealed semi-final victory over city rivals AC Milan yesterday. Madrid go to the Etihad Stadium after a 1-1 first-leg draw with Manchester City - a result that leaves the sides’ last-four tie on a knife edge, with the Premier League club perhaps slight favourites at this point: City have home advantage, and Madrid have never won at the Etihad. In four visits to the stadium, Los Blancos have registered two draws and two defeats.
Militão back in for Rüdiger in Manchester
Given their fine showing at the Bernabéu, it had been thought that Madrid might name an unchanged line-up from the opening leg. Although Carlo Ancelotti’s men were unable to win the game, they had plenty of chances to add to Vínicius Júnior’s opening goal; only a sterling display by City keeper Ederson prevented the reigning European champions from scoring more.
Deputising for suspended centre-back Éder Militão, Antonio Rüdiger marked City striker Erling Haaland out of last week’s first leg. The Norwegian barely touched the ball, and was limited to just a couple of shots of any note. Such was the impressive nature of Rüdiger’s display that the German was thought to be the favourite to repeat his man-marking job on Haaland at the Etihad.
However, Ancelotti has ultimately decided to recall Militão, who has endured a sticky patch of form recently, to start alongside David Alaba, who played excellently in the opening leg against City. Rüdiger will initially have a watching brief from the bench.
Eduardo Camavinga, who picked up a minor knee problem against Getafe at the weekend, has been passed fit to play and starts at left-back, with Dani Carvajal taking up his usual place on the opposite flank.
Picture clearer in Madrid midfield, attack
In midfield, there was never any doubt about who would play. Ancelotti has opted to maintain the trio of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Fede Valverde, with Kroos operating as anchorman. Either side of the German, Modric and Valverde will get forward in support of an attack that will comprise Karim Benzema at No. 9, Rodrygo Goes on the right wing and Vinícius on the left.
Real Madrid’s confirmed XI vs Manchester City:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militão, Alaba, Camavinga; Valverde, Kroos, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema and Vinícius.