City need a miracle to qualify but it doesn’t get much harder than a trip to the Santiago Bernebeu.
Preview courtesy of Fanatix
Tuesday was a dismal night for British clubs in the Champions League, with Man United, Chelsea and all Celtic all losing tricky away ties.
Man City will be hoping to buck that trend tonight but it doesn’t come any trickier than a meeting with the competition’s most successful team and a man surely destined to become its most successful ever manager – Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese will be taking charge of his 100th Champions League game with a club which has won nine European Cups in their illustrious history; Man City have won just three Champions League games in their entire history.
But City, stranded on two points at the bottom of Group D, have nothing to lose, knowing that they must beat both Real and Borussia Dortmund in their final two group matches to have any chance of qualifying.
For Real, a surprise defeat could play into the hand’s of Frank De Boer’s Ajax, who have looked quiety impressive so far in the competition.
But the Spaniards are clear favourites, particularly after Cristiano Ronaldo broke City’s hearts with a last-minute in the stunningly entertaining opening group game at the Etihad, which Real won 3-2.
Manchester City defender Gael Clichy is out for City, with Alexandr Kolarov expected to fill-in at left-back.
Striker Mario Balotelli is also doubtful with a back problem and defender Micah Richards is an absentee because of a knee injury.
But midfielder James Milner is expected to return following a hamstring strain.
Meanwhile, the Spanish league champions will be hoping striker Karim Benzema can reproduce the form that helped his side defeat Athletic Bilbao 5-1 at the weekend.
The France international, back from a thigh injury, scored Real’s third and set up German midfielder Mesut Ozil for the fourth.
Sami Khedira also returns from injury and is likely to partner former Liverpool player Xabi Alonso in central midfield.
Winger Denis Cheryshev has been called into the Madrid squad, with midfielder Michael Essien and forward Alvaro Morata sidelined.
fanatix prediction: 2-0 to Real: Man City’s Champions League woes to continue.
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