Manchester City look to make European history when they face Real Madrid on Wednesday at Santiago Bernabéu, with a spot in the Champions League Final on the line. After a 0-0 draw in the first leg, the tie is wide open, and despite being the big underdogs, the Citizens are still alive.
After a somewhat disappointing game in England, the second leg promises to be an exciting affair, and the starting lineups will give us an idea of what the coaches plan for each other. Let's take a look at what we might see on Wednesday.
Real Madrid (4-3-3)
Carvajal - Pepe - Ramos - Marcelo
Modric - Casemiro - Kroos
Bale - Ronaldo - Vázquez
The probable Madrid lineup has only one change from last week, but it's a huge one: Cristiano Ronaldo is back in training, and expected to be fully fit and ready to play all 90 minutes. The Portuguese is still not confirmed, but all the reports from practice see him in good condition, and even if he's not 100%, Ronaldo won't miss such a huge match. His return is big for a Madrid side who lacked intent and purpose on offense in Manchester. Madrid had only one true chance, and they'll need more than that if they want to win and book a ticket to Milan. And if Cristiano is back, then things look pretty good for the overwhelming favorites.
Manchester City (4-4-2)
Sagna - Kompany - Otamendi - Clichy
Navas - Fernandinho - Fernando - De Bruyne
Iheanacho - Agüero
This is a risky prediction, but without the injured David Silva, there is a good chance we see Kelechi Iheanacho starting here. He did well in England and is coming off a two-goal performance over the weekend, so his confidence is high, and he's the only reliable replacement available that won't hurt Manuel Pellegrini's defensive gameplan. Raheem Sterling on the left wing is dangerous since he'd have to defend against the great overlapping runs from Dani Carvajal.
Plus, having Kevin De Bruyne on the flanks and two strikers up front gives City a good counter-attacking setup. Along with the Belgian, Sergio Agüero will be huge on the break, and City might get some chances if they're able to catch Madrid's defense short on numbers. The two and Iheanacho give the Citizens a quick, creative, strong trio for counter-attacks, and if they run at Casemiro, Pepe and Sergio Ramos, we could see a very good night for the Sky Blues.
If Iheanacho is benched, we might see a 4-2-3-1 with De Bruyne behind Agüero and Fabian Delph on the left side, giving Pellegrini a defensive player on the wing and giving Kevin and Sergio freedom of marking and the simple task of running with the ball when they get it.