Real Madrid’s possible 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 a selection decision to make 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.
Rüdiger to keep Militão out in Manchester?
Given their fine showing at the Bernabéu, it’s very possible that Madrid will 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.
When it comes to the question of whether or not to shuffle his pack, the dilemma facing Madrid boss Ancelotti revolves around Antonio Rüdiger. Deputising for suspended centre-back Éder Militão, 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 is in the frame to repeat his man-marking job on Haaland at the Etihad. If so, who should Ancelotti leave out in central defence: Militão or David Alaba?
Having played excellently in the opening leg against City, Alaba looks well-placed to start in the return. Militão, meanwhile, is enduring a sticky patch of form, albeit he could not be faulted for his performance in the 1-0 LaLiga win over Getafe at the weekend. Ancelotti could make room for all three players by shifting Alaba over to left-back in place of Eduardo Camavinga, who is carrying a minor knee problem. Whoever he chooses in the centre and on the left of defence, they are sure to be accompanied by a revitalised Dani Carvajal at right-back.
Picture clearer in Madrid midfield, attack
In midfield, there are fewer doubts about who will play. Ancelotti is expected to maintain the trio of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Fede Valverde, with Kroos operating at 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 possible XI vs Manchester City:
Courtois; Carvajal, Rüdiger, Alaba, Camavinga; Valverde, Kroos, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema and Vinícius.