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Although sports news is covered by the coronavirus and its spread throughout the world, the Champions League is still in full swing these days, at least for now. Something that makes him Real Madrid do not stop thinking about the tie against Manchester City. A meeting that will be played on March 17 in England and that can define a good part of the merengue project.
Zidane knows that the team plays the season in the Etihad, Since the Champions League Real Madrid is always the priority, but even more so to advance the round and not kneel again in the second round as it happened in 2019 against Ajax from Ten Hag, Van de beek and company.
A week after the game, doubts and certainties about Real Madrid are growing. Will the game be playable despite the coronavirus health alert? Will there be a public inside the Etihad Stadium? Who will replace Sergio Ramos after his expulsion? A real puzzle that will have to be defined in the coming days.
Will the Champions be suspended?
Today the Champions League is played with some normality, within the chaos that the COVID-19 in world sport after its spread from northern Italy. Valencia – Atalanta, PSG – Borussia Dortmund or Barça – Naples They are some of the matches that will be played behind closed doors, but in no case is suspension considered for the moment.
Despite everything, the situation could change. And is that competitions like A series They have already been braked dry until April and in Spain The league, AFE Y RFEF They meet this Thursday to make a decision regarding the national championship.
Will it be played behind closed doors in Manchester?
It is surely a point in favor of Real Madrid, since the team would avoid the pressure of the rival fans in a game of maximum tension. However, today the game will be played with the stands of Etihad Stadium full of fans.
In England, drastic preventive measures have not yet been taken, as in Italy or Spain, and fans may be inside the stadium. In fact, the Liverpool – Atlético de Madrid Champions League round of 16 was played with the public this Wednesday.
Will Manchester City – Real Madrid be suspended?
In the same way that the Champions League, today, is played normally, the clash between Zidane and Guardiola will be disputed normally. The situation could change if the spread of the coronavirus accelerates and the crisis worsens considerably. And it is that the cases of England are not yet at the level of countries like Italy, France or Spain (at the head of Europe).
Who will replace Sergio Ramos in defense?
In terms of the game, Zidane will have to make decisions to make his eleven for the Manchester event. The great absence will be Sergio Ramos, who was sent off in the first leg in the Santiago Bernabeu. Something that leaves Varane only in the middle of the rear.
Today Militao will start in Manchester. The Brazilian is the third center back of the squad and aims to be Varane’s companion in defense. Nacho Fernández would be another option, but this season he is more absent from the team.
What system will Zidane use?
It is the great unknown of the final: the system. The coach is used to shaking his top and surprising with his line-ups, but it is still unknown if he will decide to use the 4-3-3, 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 against Manchester City.
Following the line of the last big dates, the possibility that Zidane will take out a Real Madrid with four midfielders in the middle -in rhombus with Modric or Isco hitch- and two front up.
The Madrid of the five midfielders has lost strength in recent weeks with the emergence of Vinicius, in the same way that 4-3-3 is not being habitual before the disappearance of Bale on the team this season.
Opportunities at Bale?
Precisely the previous question has to do with this unknown: will Bale have minutes? A good part of the Real Madrid system in the match will depend on it. Zidane has always trusted the Welshman this season, as he has repeatedly demonstrated at a press conference. However, the striker has not responded.
His ownership seems distant, since Vinicius is in his best form. What could happen is that you have minutes in the game for the second half. His voracity in front of goal could be key to reduce Real Madrid’s lack of goal.
Trust in the Vinicius – Benzema couple?
It seems clear that Zidane will keep intact his confidence in Vinicius Júnior and Karim Benzema for the return in Manchester. Both players understand each other on the field of play and are two fixed, especially French; a player for whom Zidane has always shown a predilection.
In the case of Vinicius the situation is different, since he does not have the status of Benzema to remain indisputably in the team. However, he is the only attacker who generates a real imbalance in rival defenses, something that Whites will need if they want to be in the quarterfinals.
Alternatives to Courtois and Marcelo?
Sergio Ramos has joined the low Thibaut Courtois Y Marcelo due to injury. The absence of the Belgian is critical and Zidane does not have many alternatives under the sticks. In fact, Areola will start against Pep Guardiola in Etihad.
The situation on the left side is different, since Mendy has held the title status for most of the games this year. Marcelo played in The classic, but the Frenchman did it in the first leg against City. In Manchester he will have a new opportunity being part of the game.
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