Manchester City vs Real Madrid : Lineups and LIVE updates

Manchester City Real Madrid Champions League 2023
Real Madrid travels to the Etihad to face Manchester City in the Champions League semifinal second leg with a place in the final at stake.

With the first Champions League finalist secured, Manchester City and Real Madrid will meet for the decisive second leg of their semifinal matchup at the Etihad to determine who will be heading to Istanbul with Inter Milan. Many have billed the thrilling matchup as the de facto Champions League final with tie perfectly poised at 1-1 after last week’s first leg.

In Madrid, City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne found the back of the net with a stunning strike from distance to level things up after Vinicius Jr’s equally brilliant curling strike from the edge of the area had put Madrid ahead at half-time.

Despite the scoreline being level going into the second leg, Man City are still heavy favourites against the defending champions based on recent form, with the hosts unbeaten since February. Indeed, the Cityzens are still yet to break their Champions League curse despite having spend billions on the squad and will be aiming to lift their very first Champions League title.

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They have underachieved in Europe throughout Pep Guardiola’s tenure, which has otherwise been hugely successful. It's high time for them to grasp the moment.

Guardiola arguably has the deepest squad in Europe at his disposal, as evidenced at the weekend when they cruised to a 3-0 victory against relegation-threatened Everton. The Spaniard had the luxury of bringing on Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish off the bench, and will likely have a full-strength squad for this blockbuster clash.

Later on Sunday afternoon, Arsenal slumped to a home defeat by Brighton by the same scoreline. Those two results have left City on the verge of claiming their fifth Premier League title in six years.

It's safe to say, one more win will do the job for the reigning champions to defend their crown. Guardiola's men, who are on course to complete a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble, will now look to put cherry on the cake by booking their place in final at Istanbul.

They, however, come up against the kings of continental football, both historically and in the modern era, in the form of Real Madrid, who eliminated them at this stage in dramatic circumstances last season. Carlo Ancelotti's men are looking to make it a record-extending 15 titles this year.

This season has been a letdown for Los Blancos in La Liga. They were unable to sustain a title challenge and may yet finish third, behind Atletico Madrid and victors Barcelona.

However, the Merengues haven't suffered elimination from this competition in over two years, and their ability to put domestic woes behind them and rise from the ashes in critical moments remains a firm reminder of their European heritage.

It's not over till it's over for Ancelotti's troops, whose never-say-die attitude, and relentless winning mindset makes this an all too familiar scenario. Their opponents should discount them at their own peril, especially after their Champions League exploits last season.

Like Guardiola, Ancelotti rotated his squad heavily on the weekend against Getafe in La Liga, giving a clear indication to his star players to do the home-work needed for Madrid to produce a shock in Manchester. All in all, it promises to be a fascinating night at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City vs Real Madrid confirmed line-ups

Manchester City XI (3-2-4-1): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji; Stones, Rodri; Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish; Haaland

Real Madrid XI (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga; Kroos, Modric, Valverde; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius Jr

Manchester City vs Real Madrid LIVE updates

Manchester City and Real Madrid's upcoming fixtures

The hosts are in the hunt for a historic treble this season, and have the chance to wrap up their Premier League crowns as early as this Sunday against beleaguered Chelsea, courtesy to their recent domestic domination, and title-rivals Arsenal's late-season collapse. The Sky Blues will face Manchester United in the FA Cup final in June.

As for Real Madrid, they have already won the Copa del Rey and the FIFA Club World Cup this season. They have little left to play for in La Liga, with arch-rivals Barcelona wrestling that crown out of their grasp recently.

Retaining their European honour will be at the forefront of Carlo Ancelotti's mind ahead of a largely unimportant few weeks domestically. For the record, they will make the trip to Valencia at the weekend, before hosting Rayo Vallecano at the Bernabeu next mid-week.