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Real Madrid plan to ‘build a wall’ against Erling Haaland at Etihad Stadium – report

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Manchester City have established themselves as one of the best sides in Europe in recent years. While they have always been an act of real grit and mettle, the addition of Erling Haalans has just elevated their performances.

The Norweigan international is a born goalscorer. The numbers of his first season in the Premier League are staggering and it is clear why Real Madrid and Manchester City fought tooth and nail for his signing last summer.

Carlo Ancelotti managed to keep the striker silent in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal last week at Santiago Bernabeu. With the return fixture scheduled at the Etihad, however, the threat posed by Erling Haaland will be greater than ever.

In 32 Premier League appearances so far this season, the 22-year-old has scored 35 goals and seven assists to his name. His numbers in the UEFA Champions League are even more staggering, as he has scored 12 goals and provided one assist in just nine games.

According to reports from El Confidencial (h/t Madrid Xtra), the Italian manager is planning to change his setup only to neutralise the Norweigan’s threat. The plan is to build a wall around Haaland on Wednesday, and Ancelotti hopes to achieve that by starting Antonio Rudiger, David Alaba, and Eder Militao together.

The Brazilian missed the first leg of the semifinal through suspension, but Alaba and Rudiger did a phenomenal job in defence to keep Pep Guardiola’s men at bay.

All reports suggest that Real Madrid will put up a defence-centred show at the Etihad next week, hoping to strike gold on the occasional counter and secure a place in the final. After all, it is a strategy that has worked out so many times for them over the years.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid out-of-favour defender now unlikely to leave the club

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Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid missed out on the signing of Leny Yoro after deciding not to match Manchester United’s offer for the 18-year-old defender.

With the French prodigy now on his way to the Premier League, Los Blancos are assessing their options before deciding whether to sign a new centre-back or not.

As things stand, the reigning champions of Spain and Europe seem to be leaning towards relying on their existing options rather than going into the market.

Jesus Vallejo unlikely to leave

As such, MARCA reports that the likelihood of Jesus Vallejo leaving the club have now significantly reduced.

Indeed, the 27-year-old out-of-favour defender now appears more and more likely to continue at Real Madrid beyond this summer.

Set to stay. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Vallejo returned to the Santiago Bernabeu after finishing his loan stint at Granada during which he hardly played due to injury and fitness woes.

As such, reports suggested that Carlo Ancelotti & co. were not planning on counting on him next season, even though he was handed a new shirt number recently.

But with the Leny Yoro operation collapsing and Real Madrid not keen on recruiting anyone from the market at this point, the Spanish ace is now unlikely to leave the club.

With David Alaba still sidelined, Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao will start the new season as the first-choice centre-back pairing and Vallejo will serve as the backup while Aurelien Tchouameni will also be an option.

Vallejo, for his part, wanted to stay put and see out his contract which expires in 2025. And, as things stand, it appears that the player will get his wish.

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