Manchester City v Real Madrid: Five Key Battles

Manchester City host Real Madrid in the Champions League this week with virtually no chance of making the last 16.

Here are the five key battles for this match.

Vincent Kompany v Cristiano Ronaldo

Any knowledgeable football fan knows that the key threat from the Real Madrid side is Cristiano Ronaldo. Vincent Kompany has the mega task of ensuring that the former Manchester United front man doesn’t get anywhere near the City penalty area which will be difficult over the course of 90 minutes. The fact this match is against City means Ronaldo may raise his game slightly as he is bound to get a lot of abuse for his United roots.

Matija Nastasic v Karim Benzema

Benzema has been one of the premier strikers in the Real Madrid team this season and he looks a good bet to start this match. He will play on the shoulder of the defence and look to push City back to create space for the players running from midfield. He will drop onto Nastasic because Jose Mourinho is bound to pick the City defender as a weak link in the current side. If Benzema can get the better of him regularly then it could leave a gaping hole in the City defence.

Yaya Toure v Luka Modric

There were a few questions over the transfer of Luka Modric to Real Madrid as some suggested he wasn’t good enough to play in the side. However, he has taken to Spanish football easily and he faces a direct battle with Yaya Toure over who can have more of a midfield impact over the course of the game. Modric pulls the strings while Toure is more of an aggressive attacking player. Whoever we hear more of in the 90 minutes is bound to be on the winning side.

Sergio Aguero v Sergio Ramos

Ramos is one of the key central defenders for Real Madrid and he plays on the side of the defence that Aguero likes to drift towards. This is a battle between an attacking player who is extremely gifted on the ball and a defender who is also gifted in possession. Aguero’s movement will test out how good Ramos is in terms of position and discipline because the Argentine striker will try every trick in the book to try and get the better of one of the most experienced defenders in Spain.

Carlos Tevez v Pepe

Tevez should start this game because he is the ideal player for this sort of occasion. Pepe is a no nonsense defender who will try and counter Tevez in terms of his movement and his aggression. These two could well be at it all night long and don’t be surprised to see a booking produced at any point. Pepe has the edge in the air but Tevez can exploit any weaknesses in Pepe’s basic organisational defensive play.

image: © [puamelia]

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