Manchester City vs. Real Madrid UCL Preview: Los Merengues a few steps closer to Milan

In their sixth straight semifinal campaign, Real Madrid travel to Manchester to take on Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

Manchester City vs. Real Madrid UCL Preview: Los Merengues a few steps closer to Milan
Source: UEFA

Real Madrid are two games away from making their 14th UEFA Champions League final, in which the previous 13 editions, they won 10 of them.

The most successful team in European football has always been trying to continue their dominance in the continent, especially during club president Fiorentino Perez's reign and his Galacticos signings. Still, it's a bit strange how in 13 years in charge of the Spanish capital club in the two reigns he has had, he's only ever gotten three Champions League trophies after spending billions on world class players, one in which was after 12 years two years ago in Lisbon. This is how their campaign has gone this edition.

Form

In the ten matches played, Real Madrid ended the group stage perfectly winning their group with the likes of Malmo, PSG and Shakhtar Donetsk, by winning five matches and only drawing one. The draw was a 0-0 stallmate against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes in Paris. Still, under Rafa Benitez, they ended up scoring 19 goals and only conceded three.

However, things changed in the new year. Perez sacked Rafa Benitez following a poor form in La Liga, in which he was replaced by one of the best players in the history of Real Madrid: Zinedine Zidane. Under the man who scored the winner in the 2002 UCL final, Zidane's men ended up winning their Round of 16 tie against AS Roma, both winning 2-0 in Rome and Madrid.

In the quarterfinals, despite losing the first leg in Germany against Wolfsburg, 2-0, they came back and won 3-0 in Madrid to advance to their sixth straight semifinals.

Real Madrid lineup vs. Malmo. Photo: Getty
Real Madrid lineup vs. Malmo. Photo: Getty

Zizou looks for glory

Playing against Manchester City under a good run of form might serve them well. Los Blancos are coming off a five-game winning streak, which was extended over the weekend after their 3-2 win against Rayo Vallecano. "It's a game and tie that is 50/50," said the French manager.

If Real Madrid are indeed going to take one step closer to the final in Milan, they will need to attack very well and take advantage of the return of Cristiano Ronaldo from injury, who did not play over the weekend. An away goal would be important for them, especially against an iffy Manchester City defense. In the last two and only meetings between these two sides in the UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid won 3-2 in Madrid in the 2012-13 group stages before a 1-1 draw in Manchester.

Zidane in press conference. Photo: UEFA
Zidane in press conference. Photo: UEFA

Team News & Possible lineups

For the home side, only Yaya Toure will be out due to a muscular problem, while Karim Benezma is also doubtful due to injury on his knee.

Predicted Man. City XI: Hart; Sagna, Otamendi, Kompany, Clichy; Fernando, Fernandinho; Navas, De Bruyne, Silva; Agüero. 

Predicted Real Madrid XI: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Modrić, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Jesé (Lucas Vázquez), Ronaldo.