Ronaldo Returns as Real Madrid Host Man City in CL SF Tonight
Only two opponents have beaten Real Madrid at home this season, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.
Real Madrid will be boosted by Cristiano Ronaldo’s return and the likely absence of two key Manchester City players when it tries to reach yet another Champions League final on Wednesday.
Coach Zidane has confirmed that his star player will be available for the crucial encounter. “Cristiano is fine, he is at 100 percent. He trained and will be there tomorrow,” said the Zidane.
Ronaldo returns after missing three straight games because of a leg injury, including the 0-0 first-leg draw in Manchester last week. The Portugal forward leads the Champions League with 16 goals, one shy of the record he set in the 2013-14 season.
The 10-times European champions scraped a 1-0 win at Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday without their two top scorers.
Madrid will also be lifted by the likely absence of Yaya Toure and David Silva because of injuries. City initially said Toure was going to miss the match because of a muscle ailment, but later said he made the trip to Madrid and was listed as doubtful.
On the other hand, Silva wasn’t fit after being substituted in the first leg with a hamstring problem.
City coach Manuel Pellegrini made eight changes to his team against Southampton on Sunday, in preparation for the trip to Madrid, but the plan backfired as they lost 4-2.
But the Chilean was unapologetic about resting some of his players as his side look to reach a first Champions League final.
Another edge for Madrid comes from Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, where it has crushed all-comers this season, winning 20 of 23 matches in all competitions. In the Champions League, it’s won all five home games by outscoring opponents 18-0.
Only two opponents have beaten Madrid at home this season, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.
Zinedine Zidane said Madrid has an obligation to reach the final.
It’s going to be difficult, but if we don’t advance it will be a failure. We have been saying that we haven’t won anything yet. Our goal is to advance. We will do our best to try to make it happen.Zinedine Zidane, Head Coach, Real Madrid
(With inputs from AP.)
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