The pressure is on City to finally win the Champions League before they serve a two-year ban courtesy of Uefa. Though City will fight the ban in the Court of Arbitration for Sport - and possibly beyond - this may be their final chance to lift the trophy until 2023 at the earliest.
As for Real, they are back on track with Zidane. Though they lack the star quality of Cristiano Ronaldo this time around, Los Blancos are proving to be a mean defensive unit this term - and they have enough Champions League winners in their squad to cope with tests like this.
Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
Kick-off time: 8pm GMT
Prediction: Real Madrid 1-1 Man City
This tie is there for either side to take control of, but you suspect that the two teams would settle for a draw before going all out at the Etihad in two weeks' time.
Click here for more information about tickets from Real's official website.
How to watch
TV channel: The match will be televised live on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport Ultimate, with coverage starting from 7pm.
Head to head (H2H) history and results
- Real Madrid wins: 2
- Draws: 2
- Man City wins: 0
- City are yet to beat Real in four Uefa meetings, with Los Blancos edging their 2015/16 Champions League semi-final 1-0 on aggregate.
- Real Madrid to win: 2/1
- Man City to win: 6/4
- Draw: Between 14/5
Odds provided by Betfair Exchange. Click here for more odds.
Real Madrid (from Ben Hayward)
Eden Hazard limped off in Madrid’s 1-0 defeat at Levante on Saturday night and is expected to be out for at least two months with a recurrence of his ankle injury.
Gareth Bale was left out of the squad for the trip to Levante after suffering from gastroenteritis during the week, but the Welsh winger will be back in contention for a place in the next two games – despite scoring only three goals this season.
Brazilian youngster Rodrygo could also be an option, but he will miss the Clasico after he was sent off playing for Madrid’s youth team, Castilla, on Sunday. Zidane also has Vinicius Junior, Lucas Vazquez and Luka Jovic, who could be in line to feature from the bench as Karim Benzema struggles for goals, having netted only twice in the last 10 games.
Marco Asensio is still making his way back from the anterior cruciate ligament injury he sustained in pre-season and with Hazard out, Zidane could opt for five midfielders against City and Barca.
That would mean a start for Isco, along with Casemiro, Fede Valverde, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in a formation already used with some success by the French coach this season.
Leroy Sane remains out of contention despite training with his team-mates recently, though Aymeric Laporte should be in contention.
With the focus on Raheem Sterling after his recent comments about a potential future move to the Bernabeu, the England forward should be fit for the first leg.
Following their 2-0 defeat at Tottenham on 2 February, City have kept clean sheets in wins over West Ham and Leicester. That means the likes of Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi and Benjamin Mendy should keep their places in defence, with Fernandinho or Laporte likely to partner Otamendi.
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