Ancelotti and Guardiola announced the news a few hours before kick-off at the Santiago Bernabéu.
For many, the most important match of the season will be played this Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabéu, the second leg of the Champions League semi-final between Real Madrid and Manchester City. The English have a slight advantage on the scoreboard (4-3), but they know that the merengue team has tired of making comebacks in this edition.
That first leg game was characterized by the permissiveness in the defense of both teams, perhaps due to the intensity of the game and the lack of key chips in the scheme of each starting eleven. Fernandinho was forced to take the position of full-back belonging to Kyle Walker (injured) and on the other side Casemiro left a giant void that was noted by the constant arrival on goal by players like Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva.
Looking ahead to the second leg to be played this Wednesday, there are also some absences due to physical problems. According to Spanish media, David Alaba is not fit to play despite the fact that the coaching staff decided to include him in the squad list.
The idea will be to wait until the last minute, but Carlo Ancelotti himself had announced at a press conference that the central defender was ruled out. “Alaba can’t play, he won’t be ready for the match,” the Italian coach told the media.
The experienced Austrian player was absent from Monday’s session and this Tuesday he has been working differently to see if he finds good feelings in the hours before the match. Alaba had already risked some discomfort for the first leg, which could give him a light in case the team needs him.
The good news for Ancelotti is the return of Casemiro, who was in doubt after also missing the weekend’s game against Espanyol, where they won the league title. “If we put the block down we’re not going to take 99 shots. Sometimes you have to take risks, and we have done it, we have scored a lot in the qualifiers. We have the quality to risk” , said the coach after qualifying the return of the Brazilian midfielder as a “reinforcement” for the illusion of reaching the final.
Stones ‘out’, Walker in doubt
For Pep Guardiola, these will also be decisive hours, as his starting right-back has worked intensely with the medical staff to try to arrive in a position to play the momentous match in Madrid. “He has trained today and tomorrow we will decide with Kyle Walker. We’re going to try to get him to play tomorrow, but I don’t think that’s the key” , said the Catalan.
In case Walker cannot arrive, Cancelo would be chosen to cover that band, while the left would be the responsibility of the Ukrainian Oleksandr Zinchenko. Of course, the defensive zone will have to face the loss of John Stones, who has not trained this week with the rest of the team.
“We are two very good teams. They are the Spanish champions and we tried the same in England. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I have to choose my eleven. There are days that you train very badly before the game and others that you play great. We often talk about experience. The important thing is to learn from those experiences. It’s no use repeating the same mistakes”, commented Guardiola regarding the starting eleven.
The strategist described the first leg as a spectacle for the fans, even though his team conceded 3 goals at home. “Probably, we will have to play better than last week. But we can play worse and win. Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve,” he noted.
The decisive match of this series will be played this Wednesday at 2:00 pm (Colombian time). The winner will get a ticket to Paris on May 28, the date on which the final will be played against the winner of the other semifinal between Liverpool and Villarreal.