London: With Real Madrid set to face Manchester City in the first semi-final match of the Champions League, fans of the two teams are at loggerheads about the internal issue which has been plaguing both the teams. But, after suffering from all the exhiliration of long matches and unexpected defeats midway, will it be the menacing Real Madrid or the lethal mid-field attackers Manchester City who will ultimately reach the field of the Bernabeu in the finale?
First time in the semi-finals of the Champions League, Manchester City’s captain Vincent Kompany has called on his ‘company’ of men to play the game of their lives on Wednesday. But without his emboldening speech, there is little to deny that Manchester City players will deploy their capabilities to the extreme to clinch a historical win for their team. Kompany has admitted the lethality of leaving Ronaldo alone in the field unguarded; and he has adviced his men to be wary of Ronaldo at all times.
“It is massive. I have been through a very long process with this team. To play a semi-final is something really good but you want to go to the next stage,” Company was quoted as saying.
But whether Manuel Pellegrini’s side will decide on the outcome of the game is a gamble only the experts can afford. They have suffered at crucial games before, and this internal glitch they’ll have to eradicate before they step on the pitch.
Real Madrid, the ten-times champions of Europe, are more than excited but less than curious about their performances in tonight’s game. Real coach Zinedine Zidane, himself a former Madrid player, has lately had to deal with quite a bit of stubble in the team’s ego. But he is optimistic — he has all the reasons to be.
There were questions about the form of Cristiano Ronaldo — mainly pertaining to his recent injury which stayed him a match against Rayo Vallecano. But he has shaken off rumours about his injury by posting that he has fully recovered and is ready to play the semi-final in the Etihad Stadium. Zindenine Zidane also confirmed Ronaldo’s availability. Karim Benzema has also been cleared of injury concerns as Real get ready to field their A-team against first time semi-finalists City.
Head to Head
Of the two Champions League games that have been played between Real Madrid and Manchester City, Real Madrid has won one and the other has been a draw.
Match Timing in India
Indian viewers can catch the match from 12:15 am Indian Standard Time on 27th of April.