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Guardiola confirms massive injury boost for Manchester City ahead of Real Madrid clash



Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to take on Manchester City next week as they look to secure a place in the final of the UEFA Champions League.

The Spanish giants have performed brilliantly in the UCL so far, sweeping aside Chelsea and Liverpool in the knockout rounds. But their biggest challenge yet awaits them in the semifinal as they take on the champions of England.

Real Madrid were heading into the game with the hope of Kevin De Bruyne being ruled out of the first leg due to an injury.

However, as reported by Goal, it appears De Bruyne is back in training ahead of the Leeds United match and could be in contention to feature against Real Madrid in the UCL semifinal.

The Belgian international, who has recorded a whopping 27 assists in all competitions this season, has been a creative force for Manchester City. His combination play with Erling Haaland has helped the Cityzens once again dominate English football.

De Bruyne, though, had missed the last couple of matches due to discomfort, which led many to believe he might miss the game against Real Madrid.

But ahead of the game against Leeds United, Pep Guardiola has confirmed the Belgian is back in training and will play ‘if he is fit’.

“He trained good yesterday. Today we are going to train and decide after training. Losing just one week or 10 days is not a problem, it’s the same thing that happened with Nathan [Ake]. If he’s fit, he will play,” Guardiola said.

Considering how important a win could mean for Manchester City in the context of the Premier League title race, it will not come as a surprise to see De Bruyne feature against Leeds. But everything suggests the playmaker could be fully fit for the game against Real Madrid.

This could serve as a major blow for Los Blancos, whose relatively shaky defence has made Arsene Wenger bet on Man City. Only time will tell whether or not the former Arsenal manager’s bet comes out to be a wise one.

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Camavinga, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Barcelona



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to get a step closer to lifting the La Liga title when they face off against FC Barcelona later tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid are currently seated atop the league table, eight points clear of Barça in second place. And another win tonight would stretch the lead to 11 points, all but guaranteeing their coronation as Spanish champions.

It will not be easy with Barcelona motivated after their defeat against PSG in the UEFA Champions League while fatigue could also be a factor after Los Blancos toiled it out for 120 minutes against Man City earlier this week.

Heading into the game, Real Madrid have one fitness concern as Ferland Mendy did not train on Saturday due to some overload in his left leg, although he was included in the squad list by Carlo Ancelotti.

Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba are the only injury-enforced absentees for the league leaders and here’s how Real Madrid could line up tonight against Xavi Hernandez’s side.


Fresh off his penalty shootout heroics against Manchester City, Andriy Lunin will guard Real Madrid’s goal again and hope to help his team to another crucial victory.

Antonio Rudiger has been in brilliant form this season and is a guaranteed starter at the heart of the Merengues’ defence. The German international should pair up with club captain Nacho Fernandez to stop Robert Lewandowski & co.

Even though there has been some chatter about Lucas Vazquez starting at right-back, Dani Carvajal is expected to get the nod as usual.

Mendy’s possible absence, however, could pave the way for Eduardo Camavinga to start at left-back for Real Madrid, with Ancelotti likely to trust the French midfielder in a makeshift role over Fran Garcia.

Camavinga could fill in at left-back. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Aurelien Tchouameni is back after missing the Manchester City game through suspension and will slot in as the defensive midfielder against Barcelona.

Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos will take up the two interior midfield positions for Real Madrid while Jude Bellingham will operate as the lone attacking midfielder.

However, it will not be a surprise to see Real Madrid transition into a 4-4-2 with Valverde and Bellingham moving out wide on the right and left flanks, respectively.

Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr. are the undisputed starters up top in attack, with the former likely to operate from the left after his recent success while the latter will play slightly more centrally.

Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Camavinga, Tchouameni, Valverde, Kroos, Bellingham, Vinicius, Rodrygo.


Brahim Diaz and Luka Modric are players that Carlo Ancelotti counts on from the bench for every game and that will not change tonight against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Joselu is also an option that Ancelotti could turn to if he wished to change things up in the attacking unit.

Eder Militao could also get some minutes, depending on the game situation, as Ancelotti hopes to get the Brazilian into match-rhythm in time to face Bayern Munich.

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