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Five reasons Real Madrid believe in their chances vs Manchester City at the Etihad – report

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

An xG of 2.82, 60% possession, 16 shots, eight on target and six big chances. Such were the statistics of Manchester City when they last took on Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, conjured up an xG of just 0.47, had no big chances and had just three shots on target in 90 minutes in the game last year.

The statistics speak loud – Los Blancos suffered a 4-0 embarrassment the last time they stepped onto the grass in Manchester. Tomorrow night, they must descend for battle in the same arena once more, this time looking to fight neck-to-neck for a result.

A new team

As revealed in a recent report by AS, Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti believe that this season, they have more weapons to survive against Pep Guardiola’s men at the Etihad.

The men in white travel to England without fear and positive that a repeat of last season’s collapse will not unfold. The dressing room is more motivated than ever, and improvements are expected from last year’s clash all across the field.

Most importantly, the fact that they are seen as underdogs playing away from home only pushes the team more towards a winning performance. With the pressure off, it will indeed be easier for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

Five ‘key’ factors

The Spanish outlet reports there are five factors that make Ancelotti and Co. believe in their chances for the game that lies ahead of them.

To begin with, the Merengues have been in sensational form all season and have just lost one game in 44 within the 90-minute mark. The wins may not be pretty, but the team’s ability to churn out results drives them forward.

The key duel. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

The second factor, as Real Madrid see it, is the improved defence. Last year, Eduardo Camavinga, David Alaba and Eder Militao joined Dani Carvajal at the back while this season, the Spaniard will be joined by an in-form Antonio Rudiger, Nacho and Ferland Mendy.

The German star’s inclusion, in particular, generates hope as he has enjoyed reasonable success against Erling Haaland.

The third factor is the chance in midfield where Eduardo Camavinga is expected to start as the pivot with Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde ahead of him.

Needless to say, such a trio boasts more stamina and a stable pivot compared to the Modric-Kroos-Valverde combination that played last season.

Jude Bellingham’s quality and ability in front of goal is Ancelotti’s fourth major reason to believe that tomorrow night will be special. He was not on song last week, and Los Blancos will hope he finds his best version tomorrow.

Last, but not least, is the newfound chemistry between Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo in recent weeks that has seen both Brazilians play out of their skin.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid superstar reveals how advice from Brazil legend helped him improve

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Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Even with all the excitement around Kylian Mbappe, it is Vinicius Junior, who continues to be Real Madrid’s biggest star.

In the past few years, the Brazilian has witnessed substantial growth, notably establishing himself as one of the best players in world football.

Vinicius’ rapid rise to prominence has been backed by numbers as well, with the forward racking up 82 goals and 75 assists in 262 competitive matches for Real Madrid.

Vinicius on receiving advice from Ronaldo

In a recent media interaction, Vinicius Junior, when talking about his success at Real Madrid, revealed that the forward constantly receives advice from his compatriot and former Real Madrid legend Ronaldo.

Vinicius particularly pointed out Ronaldo’s advice in 1v1 situations and how it has helped him improve in such scenarios.

“Ronaldo always calls me and gives me advice, he teaches me so many things. Since he told me that his favourite thing is a 1v1 vs a GK, I thought about it a lot and started working on it really hard,” Vinicius said (h/t Madrid Zone).

Ronaldo regularly speaks with Vinicius. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

“Now, every time I’m in a 1v1 with a GK, I’m the calmest guy in the world. Ever since that conversation with Ronaldo, I stopped being afraid of making mistakes in a 1v1,” the forward added.

Vinicius has indeed witnessed an improvement in his 1v1 play in recent years, which has been reflected in his higher goalscoring numbers.

This season, the forward has netted 23 goals in all competitions while racking up 11 assists. His goalscoring prowess, coupled with his ability in 1v1 situations could prove to be critical as Real Madrid take on Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League final next month.

The Brazilian international, though, will be up against a challenging defensive duo of Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck, who have been able to keep the opposition attacks quiet this season.

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