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Not for the first time in his distinguished and ever-controversial career, Diego Simeone lost his cool on the touchline as his Atletico side struggled to break down a steadfast City backline, with their defensive tactics in the first leg coming back to bite them hard.
A goalless draw in the Spanish capital was enough for Man City to progress to the semi-finals for the second season running, but the game was marred by unsavoury scenes at the end, with the La Liga champions not covering themselves in glory in the tunnel after the game.
Nevertheless, City got the job done on the pitch before their treble hopes were dashed by Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-finals, but their customary thumping of Watford – with Gabriel Jesus scoring four – keeps their dreams of a domestic and continental double very much alive.
Undefeated at the Etihad in the Champions League since a 2-1 loss to Lyon back in September 2018, Man City have already found the back of the net 13 times in their five home matches in the tournament this season and navigated both legs of their Atletico and Sporting Lisbon ties without conceding a single goal.
Defensive absentees will certainly put that record under threat against Real Madrid, but Guardiola could become the first manager to eliminate Real Madrid from the Champions League three times over the course of the next two weeks and is surely more desperate than ever to finally bring the European crown to the blue side of Manchester.
While all players who had only amassed one or two yellow have now seen their infringements wiped, City will have to cope without Joao Cancelo for the first leg, as the Portuguese picked up his third caution of the tournament at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Guardiola will therefore be desperate to have Kyle Walker back from an ankle issue in time for Tuesday – the right-back is “much, much better” according to the Catalan coach – and it remains to be seen if John Stones will battle back from a muscular injury to make himself available.
The likes of Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez will all anticipate recalls to the first XI this week, but Jesus has given Guardiola plenty of food for thought by responding to links with a move away with a quartet of strikes on Saturday.
While Real Madrid do not have any suspension concerns for the first leg – Eder Militao is back from a ban served in the home loss to Chelsea – Ancelotti’s injury problems are mounting after David Alaba was taken off with a thigh issue against Osasuna.
The defender was restricted to indoor work on Saturday alongside Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz – all three of whom will miss out – but Alaba has made the squad alongside Casemiro and Ferland Mendy and could earn some minutes here.
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Luka Modric was rested entirely for the win over Osasuna but will reprise his midfield role here alongside the returning Toni Kroos, while Marcelo should be fit enough to deputise at left-back for Mendy if needed.
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Nacho, Marcelo; Kroos, Camavinga, Modric; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Junior