PREVIEW. 17/05/2023. Rodrigo Salamanca
Real Madrid and the European Cup are a match made in heaven. The Whites will be vying to defend their Champions League crown at the Etihad Stadium where they take on Manchester City (9pm CET). The final in Istanbul is just one game away and the 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu means it's all to play for in the return leg in the English city.
Ancelotti will be counting on his three leading scorers in Benzema (29 goals), Vini Jr. (23) and Rodrygo (16) to ensure a place in the final. But their progress will also depend on defensive strength, a virtue that has seen them concede just one goal in their last four Champions League games.
“Courage and personality are extremely important factors in this type of game” said Carlo Ancelotti in the press conference ahead of the clash, where he was joined by Modrić: “We're feeling great. We have to enjoy this moment we're experiencing because our record of reaching so many semi-finals and finals is impressive”. The Italian coach has travelled to Manchester with a full squad for one of the most important clashes of the season.
Video.Madrid eyeing Champions League final spot
The Premier League side, in their fourth Champions League semi-final in their history, will be looking to record the club's most glorious moment. Madrid's task will be tough and they will have to survive challenging moments. In front of them will be the leaders of the Premier League and finalists of the FA Cup. Madrid are the reigning European Cup champions and on 6 May they clinched the Copa del Rey, a trophy that comes on top of the Club World Cup and the Uefa Super Cup. In terms of previous meetings between the two teams in the Champions League semi-finals, the Spanish side have eliminated City in the two previous editions: last season and in 2015/16. Tonight, the kings of Europe have the chance to make another final.