City make four changes from the team that beat Watford 5-1 on Saturday.


City return to USA for 2022/23 pre-season trip

John Stones, Bernardo, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden return, while four-goal Hornets hero Gabriel Jesus retains his place.

Joao Cancelo (suspended), Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish lead the way.


Town: Ederson, Stones, Zinchenko, Dias (c), Laporte, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Foden, Mahrez, Jesus

Substitutes: Steffen, Carson, Ake, Sterling, Gundogan, Grealish, Fernandinho, Egan-Riley, Mbete, Palmer, McAtee, Lavia

real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Militão, Alaba, Mendy, Valverde, Kroos, Modric, Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinícius Júnior

Formation: 4-3-3

With Cancelo suspended, Stones is likely to replace him at right back, with Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias in the centre.

Rodrigo, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo will form the trio in midfield, with Foden, Mahrez and Jesus as the three rotating forwards.

City looks for advantage in the post

With the second leg in Spain coming in just eight days, City are hoping to build some sort of advantage in the second leg.

Our matches after matches against Real Madrid are certainly friendlier than the previous round, when we faced Liverpool on every occasion!

The opportunity for overall changes after tonight is slim (barring a sizable, though unlikely, home win), so the 40-mile trip to Elland Road on Saturday represents a less hectic schedule, as does a home game against Newcastle after our mid-week trip to the Bernabéu.

Premier League matches are as important as the Blues’ attempt to fend off Liverpool’s challenge – adjustments to the starting XI may rarely have mattered more.

City must stop Benzema

Karim Benzema is already guaranteed the best season of his career this campaign with a phenomenal 39 goals in 40 games.

His numbers have always been good, but during Cristiano Ronaldo’s time at the club, he was forced to play a supporting role.

Tonight will be his 600the I play for Los Blancos and is one away from 400 goals in his club career.

At 34, he is better than ever, whether it is due to Real Madrid courting Kylian Mbappe, who has been much publicized, or not only will he know, but City’s defenders will need to be at their best this season. night, and next week, if they are to advance to the second successive Champions League final.

head to head

  • This will be the seventh meeting between Manchester City and Real Madrid in European competition, and each of the previous six in the UEFA Champions League since 2012-13. After failing to win the first four (D2 L2), City won both games in the round of 16 against them in this competition in 2019-20.
  • Real Madrid have not won any of their previous three trips to face Manchester City in European competition (D2 L1), and the most recent two also came in the UEFA Champions League round of 16: 0-0 in the semi-finals of 2015-16. -final first leg and 1-2 in the second leg of the 2019-20 round of 16.
  • Pep Guardiola (four wins) and Carlo Ancelotti (two wins) have met on six previous occasions as rival managers: all four of Guardiola’s wins came against Ancelotti’s Everton in the Premier League, while both of the Italian’s wins came in the UEFA champions league. semi-finals in 2013-14, with his Real Madrid beating Bayern Munich 5-0 on aggregate.
  • City manager Pep Guardiola has eliminated Real Madrid from the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on two previous occasions, beating them 3-1 on aggregate in the 2010-11 semi-finals with Barcelona and 4 -2 overall in 2019-20. Round of 16 with Manchester City. Guardiola is seeking to become the first manager to knock Real Madrid out of the UEFA Champions League three times.
  • Raheem Sterling has scored 24 goals for Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League. If he scores in this game, he would overtake Paul Scholes (24) and trail only Wayne Rooney (30) for the most goals scored by an English player for an English team in the history of the competition.
  • Only Kingsley Coman (4.1) has a higher expected assist total than Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo in the UEFA Champions League in 2021-22, indicating the quality of chances created by the Portuguese this season. The third player in expected assists this season, meanwhile, is Real Madrid’s Vinícius Júnior.
  • After conceding in seven successive Champions League games between last season’s final and this season’s final group stage game, Manchester City have kept a clean sheet in four successive games; the last team to keep a clean sheet in five straight knockout stage games in the competition was Juventus in 2016-17.
  • City are unbeaten in their last 19 Champions League home games, only failing to win twice; this streak was preceded by three consecutive home losses in 2018.
  • Despite playing just 179 minutes at home in the Champions League this season, starting just once, Gabriel Jesus is City’s top scorer at the Etihad Stadium this season in the competition with three goals; all three goals were scored as a substitute.
  • After winning just five of their first 18 games against Spanish opposition in Europe (D4 L9), Manchester City have since won four of their last five games (D1).