The football world is abuzz with excitement as the stage is set for a mouth-watering clash between two giants of the game: Real Madrid vs Manchester City. The first leg of this highly-anticipated semi-final is set to take place at the iconic Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, and fans around the globe are eagerly waiting to witness this clash of the titans.
Real Madrid came into this match on the back of their recent Copa Rey triumph against Osasuna, where the dazzling Rodrygo shone with a stunning brace of goals. However, it must be noted that the Spanish giants have not been in the best of form in recent times, having suffered two defeats in their last five competitive fixtures. One of those losses came against Girona, while the other was against Real Sociedad.
On the other hand, Manchester City have been on an incredible winning streak, having not lost a competitive game since February, when they fell to Tottenham. The Citizens have won their last five matches on the trot. It was a display of complete dominance by Pep Guardiola's side against Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals, and they will be looking to carry that momentum into this crucial game against Real Madrid.
The domestic Copa Del Ray title is already in their bag, and their focus now shifts to the tournament where they have been the undisputed champions - having won it a record 14 times.
With the return of Luka Modric from injury, the team will be boosted by his experience and skillset. However, there are concerns about their defensive capabilities, with the team having leaked 9 goals in their last 4 games across all competitions.
This will undoubtedly be a point of focus for the Madrid giants, as they prepare to face off against the formidable Manchester City side.
Modric is expected to start the game, having returned from injury.
Predicted Lineup: Courtois; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Camavinga; Modrić, Kroos, Valverde; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinícius Júnior
Manchester City have been nothing short of phenomenal in recent times, particularly in the second half of the season. Pep Guardiola's men are on a blistering 10-game winning run, playing a brand of football that is simply out of this world.
The team is now aiming for the coveted treble this season, with the Citizens already in a commanding position in the league table, and having set up a mouth-watering FA Cup final clash against local rivals Manchester United.
Mahrez has been in great form whenever given chances, but he still might miss out
Predicted Lineup: Ederson; Akanji, Rúben Dias, Walker; Stones, Rodri; Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne, Gündoğan, Grealish; Haaland
Erling Haaland's goal-scoring prowess in the Champions League has been nothing short of sensational, boasting the best ratio in the competition with a goal every 58 minutes.
With Real Madrid's Militao suspended, Manchester City will be eager to exploit their opponents' weakened defense. However, one should never underestimate the fighting spirit of Real Madrid in their favorite competition. They have a knack for turning games around and finding ways to win, no matter the situation.
With both teams having so much to play for, a draw seems like a plausible outcome, but anything can happen in football.