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Guardiola Anticipates Real Madrid’s Hunger for Revenge

The stage is set for another epic clash between Manchester City and Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals. This time, the Spanish giants head into the first leg at the Bernabéu on Tuesday night with a score to settle after a dominant City performance saw them thrashed 5-1 on aggregate last season.

Guardiola Wary of Revenge-Fueled Madrid

City manager Pep Guardiola acknowledges the challenge ahead, recognizing Real Madrid’s hunger for revenge and their formidable experience in the Champions League. “Beating Real Madrid twice in a row is impossible,” he concedes. The 14-time European champions, driven by pride and a desire to make amends, will undoubtedly present a far sterner test than last year.

Ancelotti Demands Mental Strength

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti echoes Guardiola’s sentiment, emphasizing the importance of mental fortitude. He acknowledges a lack of courage and personality in their previous encounter, particularly in the second leg thrashing. Ancelotti insists on a focused and determined performance from his side, highlighting the crucial role of mental strength in such high-stakes matches.

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Rudiger Ready to Contain City’s Attack

Defender Antonio Rudiger, who successfully neutralized Erling Haaland in the first leg last season, is confident of replicating that feat. He acknowledges the challenge of controlling City’s attacking trio of Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, and Haaland, but expresses his determination to rise to the occasion.

Bellingham Adds Firepower to Madrid’s Midfield

A key difference for Real Madrid this year is the presence of English wonderkid Jude Bellingham. The 20-year-old midfielder has been a revelation, contributing 20 goals across all competitions. Ancelotti praises Bellingham’s maturity and his impact on both the attacking and defensive aspects of the game.

Photo showing Manchester City celebrations after the 4-1 victory against Real Madrid in the Champions League. Which might create Real Madrid’s hunger for revenge against the loss (Phot Credit: BBC Sport)

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City’s Goalkeeping Conundrum

Adding to the intrigue surrounding the City camp is the uncertainty surrounding their goalkeeper. Ederson, their usual starter, is recovering from a recent injury. While Pep Guardiola acknowledges Ederson’s fitness, he is considering the risk of a lack of match practice. Stefan Ortega, who has impressed in Ederson’s absence, keeping two clean sheets in the last four games, presents a viable alternative.

A Tight Contest Awaits

With both sides harboring past memories and determined to outdo each other, Tuesday’s encounter promises to be a tense and tightly contested affair. Manchester City’s attacking prowess will be put to the test against a Real Madrid side fueled by revenge and bolstered by Bellingham’s presence. The outcome of this first leg could set the tone for a thrilling Champions League saga.

Continue Reading: Foden vs Bellingham: The Battle for England’s Number 10 Role

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