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miércoles, 4 de mayo de 2016

Test Manchester City and Real Madrid: Test Cristiano Ronaldo's fitness and temper while letting Jesus Navas attack Marcelo

How Manchester City can beat Real Madrid: Test Cristiano Ronaldo's fitness and temper while letting Jesus Navas attack Marcelo

  • Real Madrid host Manchester City in the Champions League semi-finals
  • City face a tough task away from home following the first-leg stalemate
  • Sportsmail looks at how City can succeed at the Santiago Bernabeu
  • Injured striker Karim Benzema will be a big miss for boss Zinedine Zidane
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has shown a poor temper and is unlikely to be fully fit
  • Attacking down right flank may pay dividends for City and Jesus Navas 
Ahead of Wednesday night's Champions League semi-final second leg, those weaknesses have come even more to light with their injury concerns ahead of the deadlocked fixture.
Here, Sportsmail focuses in on the Achilles heels, not to mention the dodgy hamstrings, that Manchester City can look to exploit at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to return for Real Madrid on Wednesday night against Manchester City
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to return for Real Madrid on Wednesday night against Manchester City
In Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, Real boast the world's two most expensive players of all time in their ranks
In Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, Real boast the world's two most expensive players of all time in their ranks
But Manuel Pellegrini will know there are weaknesses to exploit as he hunts a Champions League final place
But Manuel Pellegrini will know there are weaknesses to exploit as he hunts a Champions League final place
 
Who is definitely out and why will they be missed?
Casemiro will be missing from midfield. He plays the Sergio Busquets role and while he is not a patch on his counterpart across the Clasico divide he is the only specialist in this position that Real have.
Toni Kroos will play in his place but he is not happy in the role and if City can put pressure on him they could prosper.
The other big loss is Karim Benzema. He is the glue that sticks Real Madrid's BBC front line together. He is the one that plays the little continuity pass in those lightning breaks that helps sweep the team from one end of the pitch to the other

Injured striker Karim Benzema is the glue that sticks Real Madrid's BBC front line, but he will be missing
Injured striker Karim Benzema is the glue that sticks Real Madrid's BBC front line, but he will be missing
So their front three is ruined without him?
Not quite. In 24-year-old Lucas Vazquez they have unearthed a real gem. Think Pedro circa 2010.
He runs forever, makes and scores key goals. Like Bale and Ronaldo he devours space and as in the first leg denying Madrid that room will be key for Pellegrini's side.
For a while last season teams sat deep against Real Madrid and Bale and Ronaldo had a reduced impact, playing in reduced areas crowded out by opposition defences.
Lucas Vazquez runs forever, makes and scores key goals and City will look to starve him of space
Lucas Vazquez runs forever, makes and scores key goals and City will look to starve him of space
How to handle a recently-hamstrung Ronaldo
His injury is a mystery. If he had a tear in the vastus lateralis muscle next to the hamstring it seems unlikely it has healed sufficiently for him to be, as Zinedine Zidane claims, '100 per cent'.
And of course Zidane also said he was 100 per cent fit ahead of the first leg. Ronaldo did say that if that game had been a final he would have risked it and Wednesday certainly feels like a final.
It is even enough for City to maybe play a slightly higher defensive line and see how he sprints.
The danger there of course is that if the defence pushes up it could be Bale who takes advantage.
As ever there is also some mileage in frustrating Ronaldo.
He has kicked out at a rival defender several times this season including twice in January against Real Betis defender Molinero and Sporting Gijon midfielder Nacho Cases.
City could play a slightly higher defensive line to test out Ronaldo's legs following his recent injury issues
City could play a slightly higher defensive line to test out Ronaldo's legs following his recent injury issues



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