Man City at Real Madrid Team News: Sterling, Laporte, Hazard

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Manchester City head to the Santiago Bernabeu tomorrow night, a venue where they have suffered two previous losses, in order to face Real Madrid. This UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash marks just the fifth ever meeting between the two financial powerhouses, with all previous encounters coming in the UCL.

On paper, this is certainly one of the more intriguing match-ups of the knockout round. However, there are a couple injury concerns for each of these giant clubs. Madrid man Eden Hazard finally got his dream move this past summer, after years of over-speculation regarding when he would leave Chelsea. His debut season in the Spanish capital has been nightmarish however, as he’s been injury riddled.

eden hazard

The 130 million pounds investment is now essentially shut down for the rest of the season after suffering a fractured ankle on the weekend. He was playing in just his second game back, having just recovered from a similar injury.

Long term injury absentee Marco Asensio is the only other unavailable for Los Blancos.

Flipping over to the visitors, winger Raheem Sterling has recovered from a hamstring injury, and will hope for selection after having missed the last two matches. Meanwhile fellow wing player Leroy Sane is still a ways away from playing due to match fitness concerns.

He is though, back in training after having recovered from a serious knee injury that he suffered several months ago. Central defender Aymeric Laporte suffered a knock in the win over Leicester City, but manager Pep Guardiola is confident that he’ll be available.

raheem-sterling

UCL Round of 16 Leg 1 of 2 Manchester City at Real Madrid FYIs

Kickoff: Feb 26, 8pm Estadio Santiago Bernabeu

Starting XI Predictions for both sides: go to this link

Result probability: Real Madrid win 33%  Draw 26% Manchester City win 41%

Prediction: Manchester City 2, Real Madrid 1

City have never beaten Madrid, in any of their four previous meetings, but now seems like the time for Guardiola to get them over the hump. Feeling the pressure to win Champions League, and knowing that he has to do it now, I think the Spaniard rises up here.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link

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  1. I’m really shock when Sergio Ramos got red card, This’s what happend exactly, when ajax flinck real madrid out of round 16 last season. A word is enough for the wise.

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