One of the most intriguing fixtures in the Champions League group stage, this game is full of interesting comparisons.
It pits the most successful European club of all time, the historically wealthy Real Madrid, against the relatively new-found riches of Man City, in a clash of two of football’s biggest financial heavyweights. If that was not already enough, the game also sees Roberto Mancini face up to Jose Mourinho, the manager who replaced him at Inter because of his failure to achieve European success and who did so in only his second season.
This is the first competitive fixture between the two sides.
Real Madrid have no major injury concerns and manager Jose Mourinho has said he will not make huge changes despite their loss to Sevilla at the weekend. However Luka Modric is pushing for a start ahead of Mesut Ozil and Fabio Coentrao could be brought in for Marcelo.
Man City could have Sergio Aguero back following the Argentine striker’s recovery from the knee injury he sustained in their first Premier League fixture this season. Gareth Barry, who appeared as a substitute at the weekend against Stoke, could also feature having recovered from an abdominal injury. Micah Richards is still out with an ankle injury.
Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo – One of the best players in world football, Ronaldo has the ability to terrorise the Man City defence. Following his recent comments about feeling ‘sad’ at Real Madrid, his performance will surely be a big point of discussion after the game whether he performs well or not.
Man City: Carlos Tevez – It was this time last year that Tevez allegedly refused to come on as a second-half substitute against Bayern Munich, an event which led to the exile of the Argentine for a large part of last season. Now the striker is back, reportedly a happy member of the squad and surely one of the greatest threats to Real Madrid’s defence.
Real Madrid have played 169 more Champions League games than Manchester City.
Manchester City’s seven competitive games against Spanish sides have produced 26 goals. They beat Villarreal home and away in the group stages last season.
Real Madrid have won more games than any other club in the history of the Champions League (99, since 1992/93).