Real Madrid v Man City: Why Pep Guardiola may spring surprise in Champions League

Listen to live commentary of Real Madrid v Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Radio 5 Live and the Sport Site at 20:00 GMT on Wednesday.

The entire season of manchester City will be defined by how they do in the Champions League.
I believed that until they were prohibited from playing for the next two seasons it – but it is even more true now, because they prepare to take on Real Madrid in the last 16, and they should be galvanised by it.
It’s always easy as a participant to say you are giving 100 percent however, when you know that something may not be there for the next few seasons, you are definitely going to give that little bit more.
The competition is clearly significant for their manager Pep Guardiola too. He has not won it because 2011 and bringing that trophy into Etihad Stadium was a part of the reason that he went in 2016 to City.
Then you believe that City’s defence of the Premier League name is over, and the way winning the Champions League has always been the holy grail for your club to legitimise their location among the European elite anyhow.
Everything is going to be geared towards them becoming past Actual and, even I would be certain they’ll undergo in case City and their normal game play.
You cannot be sure Pep is going to do so.
His creation has always changed and he seems to be having trust in them and focusing on the resistance right now, as opposed to simply playing his strongest available group.
Of course you’ve got to be aware of the dangers you may face in ties similar to this, however, I believe when they perform their way City are at their best.
When they focus on attacking football rather than analyzing the group and coming up to attempt to stop them by this , I mean and that applies whoever they’re up against, actually Actual.
When you face Actual on a major occasion like this, you dread their expertise, their history and the setting of the club – but the tie won’t be determined by some of the.
You face the 11 players on the pitch, and this team that is actual really isn’t the drive they were three or two years ago.
Now that Aymeric Laporte is fit back and again in their defence, City really are a match for anybody and they would not have any trouble going with them and going to the Bernabeu in the leg.
However, Guardiola has previous when it comes to tweaking his group in this contest in knockout ties – he did it in Tottenham and Liverpool at the past couple of years – and – something that is holding back.
Based on his recent activities and that, I have a feeling he’ll have another surprise in store for all of us.
Guardiola has generated lots of other adjustments, usually to cancel the resistance threat, although in a shape longer resembling a 4-4-2 the majority of the time during matches, in place of their signature 4-3-3 in the past few weeks, City have played.
At Old Trafford in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, he performed without a striker, with Bernardo Silva as a fictitious nine, and in the return he travelled with a rear three comprising two full-backs since he understood Manchester United would attempt to exploit the broad spaces.
With a 5-3-2 contour due to their split strikers, Guardiola also went against Sheffield United last month also it would not surprise me if he used three centre-backs again in the away leg on Wednesday.
The gameplan of city is all about getting overloads in some specific locations and not getting exposed about the counter-attack by fractures that are rapid, therefore he has to get the balance right.
Eden Hazard will miss the game but Actual have the kind of fast players at Vinicius Junior along with Gareth Bale which Pep appears to be petrified ofpeople who like to get into those places behind his full-backs whenever they move.
I don’t think the absence of Hazard is too big a blow to Real as it may seem, possibly.
The Belgium playmaker had just returned to action following a before he broke his arm in the weekend, and he wasn’t at the sort of form.
Previously their entire system has shifted to handle Hazard, however, Guardiola wouldn’t have been making any plans just to prevent 1 player, therefore his thinking won’t affect a lot.
He will have been working on a formation.
Real nevertheless have a great deal of superior right through their side, but besides Karim Benzema, that scores all the objectives, their strength is more as a device.
Vinicius Junior has been playing well, but without many goals, and Actual more carry, with Bale in and outside of the team the sort of man threat they needed when Cristiano Ronaldo had been at their own team and in his peak.
Their very best players have been the likes of Casemiro or even Federico Valverde – that was fantastic in midfield, which will be a crucial place on Wednesday.
As well as his creation, Guardiola has several choices to make on employees – beginning at the back.
Laporte’s yield is huge for City – he is so significant that he gives them a chance to win the Champions League. I don’t see it happening this season.
The great news is so that it seems like he is going to be ready for Real, he has played around an hour in each of their two Premier League games, and he will be needed by them.
He’s also the top in bringing ahead it once they begin building attacks, or passing the ball from their back-line, and also their best defender.
Laporte is, so he brings proper balance and can be a presence for whomever gets the nod at left-back – Benjamin Mendy or even Oleksandr Zinchenko on the left-side of their defence.
He is a physical presence also, for, and can be comfy when he is left one, therefore he’s the key to all, really.
If City play with a four-man defence then I’d put Nicolas Otamendi next to him as an out-and-out guardian to help deal with Benzema, however, Guardiola clearly likes Fernandinho at centre-back, so I am not certain who will find the nod – it may be he belongs with all three of these.
At Mendy, left-back and Zinchenko both have their pros and cons however neither of them are the best defensively, which is getting Laporte next is really critical.
In fact, Guardiola’s selection on Wednesday will depend on how tough he would like to be.
Real are solid so when he wants to break down them his best option would be to possess Rodri holding and David Silva along with Kevin de Bruyne on either side of him.
But he may consider that to be at the Bernabeu so there is a real chance that Ilkay Gundogan will come for Silva.
I would like to see Riyad Mahrez play ideally with Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero.
Mahrez showed again what he brings to set up City’s winner on Saturday in Leicester, and he has arguably been the best player of City for a little while now.
However, Guardiola still seems reluctant to play with him and when he has a quiet game then he appears to be out of this team.
Whoever else gets the nod alongside Aguero, Sterling’s gym is going to be key.
There are very few goals in this team, but they’re difficult to break down and when he has recovered from his injury, Sterling can make a difference by simply being around the pitch.
I understand he’s not in the form in the moment in terms of goals or aids, but how games change is not down to him getting on the ball.
His pace when he gets the penetrative is vital for creating area and runs off the chunk pins back them and frightens defenders.
{I know that it seems like I am simply calling him a runner but it’s an significant part the game in ties such as that and, together with Leroy Sane not prepared to return|It’s an significant part the game

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