Manchester City have officially confirmed that all general tickets for the first leg of their Champions League semifinal against Real have been sold out. City, whose quarterfinal tie against PSG saw the Etihad stadium record a European club record attendance of 53,039, now only have a limited number of hospitality tickets available for this mouthwatering clash.
It promises to be a great battle, with the likes of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema squaring off against the likes of Aguero, de Bruyne and Kompany
Real were not very convincing in their quarterfinal tie against German outfit Wolfsburg. They slumped to a shock loss in Germany in the first leg before Cristiano Ronaldo turned things around for them with a hat trick in the second leg.
Like the Wolfsburg game, Real will have home ground advantage for the second leg and that gives them a cushion in case they don’t get the result they need in Manchester.
The Citizens have been fragile defensively, but will be helped by the return of Vincent Kompany. Eliaquim Mangala started alongside him in the midweek game against Newcastle and will probably lineup at centre back against Madrid as well, pipping Nicolas Otamendi to the bench.
Ronaldo scored the winner when Real pipped City at the Bernabeu in the group stages back in 2012/13 and will again be a major threat to Manuel Pellegrini’s side. He has already shown his pedigree at continental level and in Gareth Bale and Benzema, Real have two other players who can make life difficult for opposition defences.
Although Bale missed the Villarreal match, he will be raring to go in this game and a fine performance at the Etihad could cement his reputation as one of the Champions League’s greatest players. Bale’s tenure at Real has been plagued with injury, and fans have had few occasions to watch the talented Welsh star at his best. He’s already put in some top class performances in Europe’s premier club competition- notably for Spurs against Inter back in 2010 and for Real against Atleti in the 2014 final.
City’s main threat will be Sergio Aguero, who netted his 100th Premier League goal in the draw against Newcastle. Aguero looked a bit jaded against the Magpies, but if he’s in the mood, like he was against Chelsea, Real’s back four will need to be at their best.
Kompany, as mentioned above, will also be key to City’s prospects. He looked a bit rusty against Newcastle- understandable given that his last appearance in City colours was over a month ago.
Despite both teams being third in their respective leagues, City do not have any major domestic distractions- their charge for the title is as good as over, but Real still remain in the hunt for a double after Barcelona’s recent slump. Zidane will have to keep his players fresh given Real’s busy fixture list.
Recent meetings between Man City and Real Madrid
City 1-4 Real Madrid (ICC 2015)
City 1-1 Madrid (12/13 Champions League)
Madrid 3-2 City (12/13 Champions League)