The first step on the road to the Tenth occurs after the collapse in the league. In many ways, not only mood, the match has the relevance of a knockout round. Although there are six games left, the group of death (four reigning champions) will admit no mistakes. In addition, the next matches will take place in Amsterdam and Dortmund. Hence the importance of the match and start this adventure with a win. It is almost vital.
In such special conditions, it is difficult to measure the threat of Manchester City. Like Real Madrid, is a team capable of getting its victories without good play. You can not say that the City flies like a butterfly, but has punches of a heavyweight champion. As happens to its white opponent, talent is imposed on the choreography and the amount of talent is enormous. Proof: Manchester City has not lost since April (11 wins and 2 draws).
Neither gives any calmness the presence of Silva (Spanish Merlin, as the British press say), Aguero, Maicon and Javi Garcia, players whose stories are mixed with Real Madrid. We've seen it a thousand times: players who wanted to play for Real Madrid and did not get, love to play their best at the Santiago Bernabeu. There is no better motivation than personal affront, Mourinho knows it well, as well as the president Florentino Perez who still remembers the memorable performances of Samuel Etoo wearing the Mallorca shirts.
To know the starting line up of Real Madrid, is necessary to know the Mourinho's inspiration. According to his warrior mentality is possible he may play with the same team of Seville, with the players' prides wounded and eager to respond to criticism. However, it would not be strange the appearences of Essien and Modric to add muscle and freshness, perhaps a model with three defensive midfielders (Xabi, Khedira, Essien). The only thing that seems certain is that Coentrao will play replacing Marcelo (matter of taste).
The scheme of the City is less flexible (4-2-3-1) and the doubt is to know the position of its key player Yaya Toure, defensive midfielder or playmaker. Depending on his position, Manchester City will play more offensive or more conservative. In the attack version Tevez and Balotelli will be the dangers. Sergio Aguero (eleven matches without winning aagainst Real Madrid) will play some minutes in the second half, after his recent recovery.
When in 1998 the Real Madrid won the seventh European Cup, the City played in the third category of English football. Tonight, Manchester City will show its richness to the best football club of the history, to the club that showed them the way. A way to the European championship.
Expected Starting Lineups
- Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao, Xabi Alonso, Khedira, Essien, Cristiano Ronaldo, Modric, Higuain.
- Manchester City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Barry, Silva, Nasri, Tevez, Balotelli.