Man City are just two games away from a Champions League final but standing in their way are ten time European champions Real Madrid, who look to reach the final for the second time in three years.
After reaching their first ever Champions League quarter-final, Man City edged out French Champions PSG 3-2 on aggregate as Manuel Pellegrini’s side look to become the first English club to win the competition since 2012.
Real Madrid come to Manchester after coming from two goals down to knock out German side Wolfsburg 3-2 as the Spanish giants booked a semi-final berth for the sixth successive season.
Man City gaffer Manuel Pellegrini hopes his players focus on this semi-final just like any other game as he plans to attack the Spanish giants and cause another upset.
“We’ll see a City team that will play to win,” said the departing Man City manager.
“It’s very important to enjoy the semi-final as it’s not something we achieve every year. The players know that. It’s important not to be comfortable because we’re at this stage. Everyone wants to play in the final.
“We won’t just try to defend to reach the final. I have always tried to have a team who play good football, play well. We need a hot heart and a cold mind … We need our emotions under control.”
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane believes his players are focused for a tough semi-final with a tricky Man City side and need to give it their all to reach another Champions League final.
“The important thing is to give 150%,” said the former World Cup winner.
“We are going to do the best we possibly can to score and try not to concede. It’s a game and tie that is 50/50. You can prepare all you want for a big game but then the game can turn out totally different to how you envisaged it..
Our opponents are a great side. If you give them space they can hurt you. The players get between the lines and cause problems. When we’ve not got the ball we must keep it tight and defend; when we have the ball we’ll try and hurt them. The players are really focused.”
Man City will be without midfielder Yaya Toure for the visit of Real Madrid after the Ivory Coast international picked up a thigh injury in Man City’s 4-0 win over Stoke at the weekend.
However, the home side will welcome back captain Vincent Kompany after he sat out Saturday’s win over Stoke due to a recurring calf injury but winger Samir Nasri (unspecified) is out of contention and midfielder Fernando (knee) is a doubt.
Real Madrid are sweating on the fitness of star man Cristiano Ronaldo after the former Man United star missed Saturday’s 3-2 win over Rayo Vallecano with a thigh injury.
Forward Karim Benzema is also a cause of concern for the ten time European Champions after the Frenchman limped off in that victory over Rayo Vallecano.