LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City speaks to Benjamin Mendy of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester City at The King Power Stadium on February 22, 2020 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City will be looking to enter the quarterfinals of this season’s UEFA Champions League when they travel to the Santiago Bernabeu to take on a rampant Real Madrid side on Wednesday night. The Citizens are coming into this fixture on the back of a narrow 1-0 win over Leicester City, and Pep Guardiola will surely be hoping to build on that positive result from the weekend.

Although winning titles in England and Europe are totally different ballgames, Guardiola will be aware of the fact that the league title is effectively beyond their reach at this point. Liverpool have been the runaway leaders for a while now and could be crowned champions as early as March. This means that the City players are likely to treat the Champions League with even more importance in the coming months.

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The biggest miss for Guardiola over the last couple of weeks has unquestionably been English star Raheem Sterling. Despite not quite hitting the same heights as last season, the speedster is one of the most influential players at City and could be in line to return against Real Madrid. Leroy Sané is another big name absentee for City at this moment, and the German winger isn’t expected back until next month.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 22: Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City celebrates with Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester City at The King Power Stadium on February 22, 2020 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Predicted 4-3-3 Manchester City Lineup Vs Real Madrid

Formation: 4-3-3

Defence

Ederson Moraes has been the undisputed first-choice at the Etihad Stadium ever since he signed for the Manchester side. Expect the Brazilian shot-stopper to retain his place between the sticks for this visit to the Spanish capital. In front of him, Aymeric Laporte could be in line for a full ninety minutes in midweek, having been taken off within an hour into the Leicester City fixture. Fernandinho should partner Laporte in the heart of the defence, with Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy expected to take up the full-back slots.

Midfield

Kevin De Bruyne was probably fortunate not to give away a penalty in the clash against Leicester but was still the Citizens’ most significant creative source all through the ninety. We expect the Belgian sensation to retain his place in the middle of the park, with David Silva set to stay on the bench. Ilkay Gundogan and Spanish destroyer Rodri should complete Guardiola’s three-man midfield line.

Attack

The injury to Raheem Sterling couldn’t have come at a worse time for City, and while he is said to be close to a return, starting against Real Madrid on the back of an injury could be asking for too much. Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez are expected to take up the wide roles in the Englishman’s stead. At the same time, Argentine superstar Sergio Aguero is set to continue in his usual central striker’s position.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.