The first leg of the Champions League Quarter Finals tie is underway, with Atletico Madrid having eliminated Manchester United in the previous round and now facing another English team. Manchester City and Atletico Madrid will play for the first time in a competitive match this week. The winners will face either Chelsea or Real Madrid in the semi-finals.
Gardiola’s Predicted Lineup for Champions League Quarter Finals
When Manchester City hosts Atletico Madrid at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night. Pep Guardiola will be hopeful for the return of John Stones. Stones was an unused replacement against Burnley after picking up an injury while on international duty.
Dias, who was taken out at half-time against Peterborough in the FA Cup last month, has been out for more than four weeks with a hamstring injury.
“I don’t know how long, the doctor said four to six weeks,” Guardiola said.
Kyle Walker is also out because he is serving the final match of his three-match suspension for a red card. As a result, Joao Cancelo will move to the right side of the defense. And Oleksandr Zinchenko moving to the left.
Guardiola, as always, has a variety of attacking alternatives. Bernardo Silva is set to return to the starting lineup. Moreover, Riyad Mahrez will look to replace either Raheem Sterling or Jack Grealish.
Referee Update for Champions League Quarter Finals
When Manchester City takes on Atletico Madrid at the Etihad Stadium István Kovács will lead an on-field Romanian and off-field Italian squad of match officials.
The 37-year-old referee, who was 4th official at the Etihad Stadium last season when City faced Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League quarter-finals, has overseen 31 matches this season, issuing 155 yellow cards and seven red cards. István Kovács has already officiated Pep Guardiola’s side in Europe this season, in a 5-1 victory against Club Brugge.
What Aymeric Laporte has to say about the game!
Aymeric Laporte stated in a recent interview that the chance to face Atletico Madrid is a ‘opportunity’ for Manchester City. It is a chance for them to show why they are the finest in the industry.
“Quite honestly, no,” he replied when asked if Atletico Madrid could prove to be City’s kryptonite in an interview.
After conquering their own mental barrier in the Champions League by reaching the final last season, City will have another chance to show why they are probably the best team in the world in the quarter-finals against Atletico Madrid.
However, Aymeric Laporte, who spent the first 8 years of his professional career in Spain, sees the prospect of facing Diego Simeone’s team as a blessing rather than a curse.