Real Madrid: 3 key battles to watch at Manchester City

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Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Real Madrid and Manchester City could have a second leg Champions League matchup for the ages.

Although Real Madrid are behind in their Champions League Round of 16 tie with Manchester City, the club is quietly confident that they can pull off anything in this competition. Real are fresh off winning their 34th league title, winning all 10 of their first 10 games after La Liga’s return to seal the championship against Villarreal.

Friday night’s match at the Etihad Stadium will be an entirely different test for Los Merengues. They will have to win a rare Champions League game without captain Sergio Ramos, and they must also overcome a 2-1 deficit from the first leg.

So without Ramos, Real, if they can hold City’s world-class attackers to zero goals, would have to score at least twice on the road in the United Kingdom to advance to the quarterfinals.

This game will be all about individual matchups with so many star players on the field for both teams, even with the likes of Ramos and Sergio Aguero unavailable due to suspension or injury. So here are three individual battles that could be key to the final result of this pivotal second leg at the Etihad.

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