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Cancelo suspended as Guardiola faces defensive crisis in Champions League semifinal showdown

By Guardian Nigeria
26 April 2022   |   3:38 am
Manchester City take on Real Madrid in a mammoth Champions League semifinal showdown this week without suspended defender, Jaoa Cancelo, reports talksport.com.

Manchester City take on Real Madrid in a mammoth Champions League semifinal showdown this week without suspended defender, Joao Cancelo, reports talksport.com.

The European giants top the Premier League and La Liga respectively and will now collide for a place in the showpiece final.

Real head to Manchester for the first leg before City travel to Spain and both matches are expected to be thrilling.

City, who smashed Watford at the weekend, edged past Atletico Madrid in the quarterfinals and are eager to finally win their first Champions League crown.

Real, the 13-time winners of Europe’s top prize, have been in brilliant form recently and saw off Chelsea to reach the final four.

The winner of this tie will take on Liverpool or Villarreal in Paris on May 28.

City full-back Cancelo is suspended for this tie in a defensive headache for Guardiola.

Kyle Walker is struggling with an ankle injury, while John Stones has a muscle problem. City also have fitness concerns over Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias has only just returned from a longer term issue.

Guardiola has no new issues at the other end of the pitch and it remains to be seen if Gabriel Jesus will start following his four-goal hail against Watford.

For Madrid, Modric was rested in their win over Osasuna at the weekend, while they have doubts about David Alaba’s fitness.

Rodri believes City’s thrashing of Watford at the weekend was just the tonic needed to head into the visit of Real.

“You have these games – Liverpool-Atletico-Liverpool-Atletico – and it is so demanding,” said the Spain international.

“At the end of this period you are a little bit… ‘phew’. You need to breathe a little bit.

“We now face Real Madrid in the best moment and we’ll see. We know exactly how they play. This is a team that, of course, has the experience of the competition and wait for their opportunity.

“They are not consistent over 90 minutes but are always dangerous. We have to be aware.”