Real Madrid will face off against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium next week on Friday night.
After losing the first leg 2-1 in late February, Real Madrid will travel to the Etihad Stadium on Aug. 7 for the second leg with a weight of expectations. Los Blancos won La Liga, avoiding dropping any points up until they had the title sealed against Villarreal. But Real’s recent form doesn’t necessarily make them favorites over Manchester City, because even if they hold Pep Guardiola’s side to a clean sheet, they must still score a minimum of two goals of their own to advance.
Real Madrid are up against it, but they have the talent to complete a comeback and make it into the quarterfinals of the competition. The Champions League is, of course, Zinedine Zidane’s signature competition, as he won it three straight times in his first stint as Los Blancos’ manager.
In order to defeat City, who are title contenders in their own right, Real Madrid will need several key individual players to rise to the occasion on the road next Friday night. Here are five key players on the Spanish league champions to watch closely when the Round of 16 second leg matchup begins.