The Manchester City Lineup That Should Start Against Real Madrid

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Manchester City beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the first leg to head into this game with the advantage
Manchester City beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the first leg to head into this game with the advantage | David Ramos/Getty Images

Manchester City welcome Real Madrid to the Etihad on Friday, as they play the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 clash over four months since the first encounter.

It was the Citizens who won that game, beating Zinedine Zidane’s side 2-1 at the Bernabeu. They head into the second leg as firm favourites, seeing as they’re back on home turf and have an away goals advantage.

City will need to be wary, however. This Real Madrid side haven’t lost a single game since the restart and go into Friday’s match as La Liga champions.

Here is how Pep Guardiola’s starting lineup should look.

Eric Garcia has broken into the first-team this season
Eric Garcia has broken into the first-team this season | Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

Ederson (GK) – The Brazilian goalkeeper comes into this game on the back of a brilliant domestic campaign, having leaked just 28 goals while keeping 17 clean sheets. This earned him the Premier League Golden Glove for the first time in his City career.

Kyle Walker (RB) – Walker has been Guardiola’s preferred right back for most of the season and much of the restart. He comes into this game in good form, having provided two assists in his previous two matches.

Eric Garcia (CB) – Central defence is probably City’s weakest position, as evidenced by the fact that Guardiola has preferred the 19-year-old Garcia over Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones since the restart. Overall, he’s been solid and has a ton of potential.

Aymeric Laporte (CB) – By far City’s best centre back, Laporte is a consistent starter for Guardiola when fit. The Catalan tactician absolutely loves him, calling him the “best left central defender in the world”.

Joao Cancelo (LB) – Naturally a right back, Guardiola has deployed Cancelo on the left of late. It’s been a difficult season for the £60m signing but recent performances have proved promising.

David Silva will leave City after ten years of service at the end of the season
David Silva will leave City after ten years of service at the end of the season | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Rodri (DM) – The Spaniard has been indispensable for City since his £62.8m transfer from Atletico Madrid last summer. With an astonishing success rate of 92.9%, Rodri is statistically the best passer in the Citizens’ midfield, which is no mean feat in a side managed by Guardiola.

Kevin De Bruyne (CM) – There are no superlatives left that haven’t already been used to describe De Bruyne. He’s just had his best domestic campaign yet, topping the assists charts with 20 and scoring 13 of his own goals.

David Silva (CM) – This could well be David Silva‘s last game for City, having been a loyal servant to the club for a decade. His final season at Eastlands has been a memorable one, having provided ten assists and scored six goals.

Gabriel Jesus has been in fine form recently
Gabriel Jesus has been in fine form recently | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Riyad Mahrez (RW) – The Algerian has featured in nearly every game for City this season, making 49 appearances, scoring on 13 occasions and providing 16 assists – four of which have come in the Champions League.

Gabriel Jesus (ST) – The striker has deputised for Sergio Aguero since the Argentinian’s injury back in June. He goes into the Real game in hot form, having scored four goals in his last five games.

Raheem Sterling (LW) – A world-class footballer and somehow an even better guy, Sterling has scored 30 goals for City this season, an absurd figure for a prolific striker, let alone a winger.

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