Real Madrid might have won the Copa del Rey at the weekend but there is no time to celebrate. They head immediately into arguably an even more important match, the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Manchester City at Santiago Bernabeu. For Los Blancos, winning the cup with the big ears is always the target.
Of course, Manchester City might provide them with the biggest test of their campaign. Pep Guardiola’s side are in top form and are challenging for a treble this season.
But on the other hand, it would be a major mistake to consider Real Madrid as underdogs. This side has the experience edge when it comes to big games for sure and got the better of Manchester City last season in a thrilling semi-final tie.
Real Madrid could be without a few of their players in the first leg though. As tweeted out by Gustavo Hofman, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Dani Ceballos missed training this Monday, prior to the match against Manchester City, in the Champions League.
Three Real Madrid players miss training before Manchester City game in the Champions League
Militao was already set to miss the first leg against Manchester City due to suspension. Thus, his suspension will not come as a major worry.
Mendy has been dealing with fitness issues in recent times as well. On the other hand, Ceballos picked up an injury recently and missed the Copa del Rey final against Osasuna as well.
Of course, Real Madrid have struggled with availability issues throughout the course of the season. That has not stopped them from progressing in cup competitions though. They might have been struggling in league competitions, but in the Champions League, these players seem to raise their levels. If they are to get past Manchester City into the final, they will need to put in a big performance in the first leg.