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Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid are eight points behind the league leaders Barcelona and it is not a happy sight at santiago bernabeu for the players and the coach himself.
Reports from Madrid say that the players have already given up hopes of winning the league this season and it is also feared that Mourinho will not finish the season with the Los Blancos. Madrid have so far able to get 4 points out of their 4 league matches and stand at 12th in the table.
Behind a disappointing league campaign, Madrid enter the champions league looking to restore some pride and they will face the English champions Manchester City. This will be a stand out fixture in the Champions league this week and Mourinho’s men cannot afford to slip up at the beginning itself.
The Los Blancos have been drawn with Premier league champions Manchester city, German champions Borussia Dortmund and Dutch outfit Ajax. It is a pretty tough group but Madrid when the draws were made Madrid were touted as the favourites to top the group. But the start of the league campaingn does not favour the La Liga champions anymore and the group looks much open.
Man City will enter the match on the back of a tough fixture against Stoke City, sharing the spoils with a 1-1 draw. The major boost for City will be the return of Aguero from his injury and Mancini has confirmed that the Argentian will travel with the squad to Madrid to play along side fellow country men Carlos Tevez up front.
There are no history of meetings between the side in the Champions league stage and given the situation it would be fairly an open game to watch. Jose Mouriho has expressed his feelings about, Manchester City, claiming, “City are a team that have been put together to win the Champions League and could prove to be very difficult rivals to meet.”
Jose Mourinho played down on rumors that he was getting pressure from the top members of the board
“At this level, players and managers have already won things,” he said. “All of us have titles, professional and economic stability, we needn’t be worried about people nor waiting on their reaction. No one pressures me, I pressure myself. No one motivates me, I motivate myself also.”
Mourinho has accepted that it is his fault that the team have lost its momentum
“Before losing to Sevilla I said to the players what I then said in the press conference. For this reason it is not a criticism but a conviction. I said it to them before the game. Football is about today and tomorrow, not yesterday. Yesterday is history. I haven’t been able to keep my players motivated and concentrated at the top level and that is my fault.”
Real Madrid Probables:
Casillas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao, Khedira, Modric, Alonso, Di Maria, Benzema, and Ronaldo.
Manchester City Probables:
Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Toure, Barry, Silva, Nasri, Tevez, and Aguero
Players to watch and things you must know before the clash
Who else to watch out for when u got Ronaldo in your team. The Portuguese International will start the match along side Benzema and would prove to be the main attacking threat for City. But the Premier league side has to be vary of another player in the form Mesut Ozil, the German has been sensational since joining Madrid last year and his boss has lauded the player as the “best Number 10 in the world”. The player has excellent ball controls and his off the ball movements will be very difficult to track and in addition to this its his work rate and the vision to pick out a team mate which one has to look out for.
For City, the main man to hold the ball in the mdfield will be David Silva. The Spanish international, who recently signed a contract extension, which will keep him in the club until 2017 will be hoping to get one better of his Spanish colleagues. He is very much the Ozil of Manchester City picking up balls deep from the pitch and carrying the attack forward. His link up play with Nasri and the strikers will have to be watched carefully.
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