Manchester City Could Play ‘Home’ Leg Against Real Madrid in Portugal

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Manchester City take a slender 2-1 lead into their second leg against Real Madrid | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

UEFA have confirmed that Manchester City will have to face Real Madrid in Portugal for the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie if they cannot host the fixture at the Etihad.

City currently lead 2-1, with goals from Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne swinging the tie in their favour at the Bernabeu.

However, Pep Guardiola’s side may have to waver home advantage for the return leg depending on the coronavirus situation in the UK.

Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne scored the winner when the two sides met in February | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Currently, government guidelines dictate that people entering the UK must quarantine for 14 days, although this is under review.

According to Sky Sports, a decision on the venues of all remaining British clubs in European competitions must be finalised by 10 July – the date of the Champions League and Europa League quarter and semi final draw.

In plans outlined by UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis, the governing body confirmed venues for the Champions League last 16 ties still to be fulfilled must be either at home or at a stadium in Portugal assigned by UEFA.

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The Etihad may not be able to be used for City and Real’s second leg | PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Europa League last 16 ties must be played at a home venue or at a venue in Germany, meaning both Wolves and Manchester United could face trips to Germany for their second legs at the expense of home advantage.

This will be less pivotal for United, who lead 5-0 after their first leg tie with LASK.

However, Wolves’ Europa League tie with Olympiacos is finely poised after they were held to a 1-1 draw in Greece.

Adama Traore, Konstantinos Tsimikas
It’s all still to play for after the first leg of Wolves versus Olympiacos | UEFA – Handout/Getty Images

UEFA confirmed that City‘s game against Real and Chelsea‘s clash with Bayern Munich must take place on 7/8 August, while Manchester United versus LASK, Wolves against Olympiacos and Bayer Leverkusen versus Rangers have to be played on 5/6 August.

Inter versus Getafe and Sevilla against Roma will be single leg ties, as their first legs were postponed in February as a result of the coronavirus.

The one-legged Champions League quarter finals, semis and final are all to be played in Portugal’s capital Lisbon between 12-23 August.

In the Europa League, the quarter finals and onwards will take place Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen in Germany between 10-21 August.

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