Manchester City’s Three Pillars of Defense Doubtful Appear in the Champions League City vs Real Madrid

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MANCHESTER – Three pillar players of the Manchester City team coached by Pep Guardiola are threatened with injury. They are Joao Cancelo , Kyle Walker and John Stones .

All three are doubtful for the first leg against Real Madrid.

Manchester City are hoping to reach a second successive Champions League final.

Despite facing Real Madrid in the 2021/22 semifinals, Pep Guardiola ‘s balance is threatened by an injury crisis.

Since 2016, Manchester City have scored more than 100 goals in each competition in each season, which has dropped the average to 2.5 goals per game.

It’s a pretty phenomenal return for a team that has found a new balance in 2021/22, with the arrival of Ruben Dias and the substitution of Joao Cancelo at left-back being a huge help to the team.

Pep Guardiola believes possession is the best type of defence.

One of the key aspects of City’s style of play is their retention of the ball, keeping possession of the ball is very important for the former Barcelona coach and it is said that his team have improved their defensive record every year since 2016, going from 60 goals in his debut season to 39 in the Premier League. current campaign.

“To concede, the opponent has to have the ball and the less they have it, the more chances we have to keep a clean sheet,” Guardiola explained in his pre-match press conference as quoted by Marca .

“You can be punished on the counter-attack, but I’m very happy with our numbers”.

“We attacked and at the same time we were solid and conceded some goals.”

Of course, these stats are greatly helped by a team’s willingness to foul on opposing players when they initiate a counter-attack.

Ruben Dias Factor

Dias has been an outstanding signing for the club after a number of successful moves in the defender market, with the Portugal centre-back adding a new layer of quality to the Manchester City squad.

“He’s not just a footballer who plays well, he makes everyone better,” Guardiola continued.

Injuries could hinder Champions League bids
Manchester City are experiencing an injury crisis ahead of the first leg against Los Merengues, with Cancelo sidelined through suspension, while Kyle Walker and John Stones both have muscle injuries.

Guardiola will need to find a solution to the problem in his team selection on Tuesday, but this could jeopardize the balance that has made his team so outstanding this season.

“We believe that you don’t need a lot of players in the box to defend well,” he continued.

“The best way to defend is when you have the ball.”

Duty to Protect Benzema

Real Madrid has shown great determination in the Champions League this season. When many other teams surrendered, the stubborn Los Blancos troops held on, and reaped phenomenal results afterwards.

Despite losing 1-0 to Paris Saint Germain in the first leg of their last 16, Karim Benzema’s iconic hat-trick at the Bernabeu saw them through to the quarter-finals.

In the last eight, they were 3-0 down at home to Chelsea.

However, ten minutes from time, Rodrygo scored a wonderful goal from Luka Modric’s magical pass, then Benzema scored the save in extra time to put Madrid ahead 5-4 on aggregate.

With such high determination, the Los Blancos troops visited Manchester City’s headquarters, the Etihad Stadium in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal, Wednesday (27/4) early this morning.

There is no denying that one of the key players behind Madrid’s success this season, in the Champions League and in La Liga, is none other than the striker, Karim Benzema.

In the Champions League, Benzema scored 12 goals only lost to Robert Lewandowski with 13 goals. The French striker has the opportunity to catch up to Lewandowski’s number of goals because Bayern Munich’s steps have been stopped in the quarter-finals.

In La Liga, Benzema is king with 25 goals, far behind his closest rivals who have just 15 goals.

How to kill Benzema, will be the focus of the strategy of Man City coach, Pep Guardiola . Benzema’s prowess, greatly assisted by Vinicius Jr’s quick movement, and Luka Modric’s brilliant passes, and Toni Kroos, a strong City counter, will be the decisive contest in this semifinal.

Unfortunately, City are dealt a heavy blow after two of its defenders, Kyle Walker , and John Stones are likely to be sidelined through injury. His position at right-back will be replaced by Nathan Ake and Joao Cancelo .

Meanwhile, the position of central defender will be filled by Aymeric Laporte in tandem with Ruben Dias. Dias had missed more than a month due to a hamstring injury. And during his absence, he was replaced by John Stones who performed well. Early this April, Dias began to fill his post again.

The duel against Benzema will probably be the toughest battle of the season.

The 24-year-old Portuguese defender is known for his tactical intelligence, and his ability to provide a sense of calm at the back.

Dias’ physique will also be vital if City are to fight off Benzema’s threat.

Supported by Laporte as the perfect complement in the back line. The Basque centre-back is very confident, and his power in the air keeps many opposing attackers immobile.

Benzema is currently 34 years old. The age factor makes him now rely more on the accuracy of movement, and position to enter the decisive attack area. He found a worthy opponent at the heart of the City defense this morning.