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Real Madrid v Manchester City: Pep Guardiola expects Real to want revenge

Real Madrid players look dejected after losing 4-0 at Manchester City in 2023
Manchester City beat Real Madrid 4-0 at Etihad in last season’s Champions League semi-finals

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes Real Madrid will be determined to get revenge after they thrashed the Spanish giants on their way to winning last season’s Champions League.

City beat Real 5-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals.

However, Guardiola has no doubt the 14-time winners will pose a tough test in Tuesday’s quarter-final first leg in Madrid (20:00 BST).

“It is very difficult for the same thing to happen again,” Guardiola said.

“Beating Real Madrid twice in a row is impossible. They have learned and will want revenge. They have pride.”

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti wants his side to show more mental strength than they did when the two sides met last season.

After a 1-1 draw in Madrid, Manchester City thrashed Real in the second leg 4-0.

“We played without courage, without personality,” said Ancelotti. “Courage and personality are fundamental in this type of game, we lacked them in the second leg.

“The important thing is to be at our best, the mental aspect is very important.”

Erling Haaland in action against Real Madrid in 2023
Erling Haaland failed to score against Real Madrid last season, but Manchester City progressed 5-1 on aggregate

Former Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger kept Erling Haaland quiet in last season’s first leg but did not start the game in Manchester.

“[The first leg] was a good game and we stopped Haaland getting passes,” Rudiger said.

“The coach didn’t apologise [for dropping me] and doesn’t need to, I accept it, even though it was hard to accept.

“Now for this game the plan is to try and control dangerous players like Phil Foden, [Kevin] de Bruyne and, of course, Haaland.”

Real Madrid did not have Jude Bellingham last year and the England midfielder has been a revelation for them this season, scoring 20 goals across all competitions.

Ancelotti added: “He’s having a very good season in the penalty box.

“He’s physically very strong and he’s helping us a lot in the defensive aspects and up front, to create space and provide movement.

“He’s very mature. He’s only 20 years old but he’s very professional, very serious and humble.”


Guardiola is unsure whether to start Ederson in goal against Real Madrid in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.

The Brazil international has not played since he was injured in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool on 10 March.

Instead, Stefan Ortega has been in goal for the last four games, keeping two clean sheets.

“I have to think about it. He [Ederson] feels good,” said Guardiola.

“Now I have to decide if a lack of rhythm for that match, I have to decide, but we are really pleased with the [performance] from Stefan Ortega. He is an exceptional keeper.”

Defenders Nathan Ake and Kyle Walker did not travel to Madrid for the game while Josko Gvardiol is a doubt after going off at half-time in the 4-2 win against Crystal Palace at the weekend.

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