The Big One: Los Merengues versus The Citizens
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
History in the making. A glamour game in excelsis. Real Madrid and Manchester City meet each other for the first time in one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes in a Group D of Champions...
'There are some things that money cannot buy - trophies and history . Real Madrid is Real Madrid, it's the real thing. There is no team anywhere that can be compared with Real Madrid. None. City is a team being created to lift the Champions League, that is their aim. I don't like to speak about opponents individually but it's no problem to say that we respect Carlos Tévez a lot. I also know Mario Balotelli and the player he is because we were together at Inter for two years and so he certainly has nothing to prove to me. What I do know is they have very good players - and are a powerful side.'
' This is not Mourinho-Mancini...It is Real Madrid-Manchester City. In the next 10 years Manchester City will be a top team like Real but they have a big history and there's a difference...I am happy for Jose. To win the Champions League is fantastic and he's one of the best managers in the world. Our mentality is not to go there - to Madrid or anywhere - for a draw, or to lose. We want to win always...I think it will be a fantastic game and a fantastic for moment for everyone at the club. But when you play Champions League football, every team is a top team, every game is difficult. But we have 23 or 24 players, players with experience, having played Champions League, they know this atmosphere. For all our players, this is good experience. After the group stage, if we have got the same 10 points as last year, I think we go will through this time.'
Real Madrid C.F. Team News:
From: Goalkeepers: Casillas, Adán y Jesús.
Defenders: Ramos, Coentrão, Marcelo, Pepe, Arbeloa, Varane, Albiol.
Midfielders: Khedira, Kaká, Özil, Xabi Alonso, Essien, Modric, Callejón, Di María. Strikers: Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuaín, Benzema.
Player to watch: Cristiano Ronaldo
Ladyboy Riverdancer has got it all. Supremely talented, yet self obsessed in the extreme. Has the ability to absolutely destroy teams but has begun to make the type of petulant noises that epitomised his behaviour in his final months with The Stretfords. Must be shackled from the off. A Zabaleta job.
Manchester City F.C. Team News:
Kun Agüero has a strong chance of playing a role in this game. He's recovered well from the knee knack he suffered againt Southampton.
Gareth Barry is back in contention following abdominal surgery.
Micah Richards remains out but back in training following a Team GB ankle injury.
From: Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Nastasic, Clichy, Kolarov, Milner, Nasri, Y Toure, Garcia, Barry, Rodwell, Sinclair, Silva, Aguero, Tevez, Balotelli, Dzeko, Razak.
Player to watch: Yaya Touré
Cometh the hour, Yaya has been City's big game player on numerous occasions and this is one hell of an opportunity for him to have a big say in taking the Blue Moon to yet another level. He knows the story in Spain all too well and has to impose himself on the midfield battle ground for it to be won.
Match Facts & Stats
Real have won 99 UEFA Champions League games, scoring 348 goals and conceding 194 in the process.
15 Real players and 10 City players have just returned from International duty.
City have lost 4 of their last 6 European away games.
Real won all six European home contests last term by an aggregate 24-6.
Jose Matalan suffered his first defeat as Chelsea manager against City. 1-0 in Manchester in October 2004 but left London with a record of W4 D1 L1 against The Blues.
At Sampdoria Mancini the striker lost the 1988/89 European Cup Winners' Cup and the 1991/92 European Champion Clubs' Cup finals against FC Barcelona, but he helped Lazio defeat RCD Mallorca 2-1 to claim the 1998/99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
As a rag, Ronaldo appeared in 11 Manchester derbies, winning 7 and losing 3. The perma-mardarse scored 4 goals but also collected 2 red cards, both away from home.
Javi García started his career at Madrid and made 18 Liga appearances before joining Benfica in 2009.
Sergio Agüero didn't to win a single derby match at Atlético Madrid despite scoring 3 goals.
Álvaro Arbeloa, Xabi, Ricardo Carvalho, Michael Essien and Luka Modrić have all faced City in the Premier League. David Silva, Pablo Zabaleta, Yaya Toure and Sergio Agüero have all taken on Real in The Spanish Liga.
Real: Luka Modrić (Spurs) Michael Essien (Chelsea, loan)
City : Jack Rodwell (Everton) Scott Sinclair (Swansea City) Richard Wright (Preston North End)
Matija Nastasić (Fiorentina) Javi García (Benfica) Maicon (Internazionale)
Betting: Real 4/6 City 14/5 Draw 4
TV Coverage: ITV1 HD
Damir Skomina of Slovenia Since the 2009/10 season, 36 year old Skomina has belonged to the elite category of cardsmiths. 2 years later he was assigned to the CL quarter-final Chelsea vs Benfica and Euro 2012...Reffed Sweden 2 England 3 and Germany v Greece in the Euro 2012 QF's...He will be remembered by City as the ref who oversaw The Blues 2-1 defeat at Napoli last season where he booked 4 players. Not unusual. Has reffed Real twice in Europe. Wins over Lyon and Ajax. When he gets going he's something of a card flourishing dynamo and is a stonewall 'homer.' STATS: 72 International Matches. 329 Yellows (182 to away sides), 20 Reds (18 to away sides), 18 Penalties Awarded (7 to away sides). Averages 4.57 Yellows per game. source: WorldReferee.com
Johnny On The Spot: We're not really here. Again. Make no mistake about it, this is a mighty task. City's swish new Euro away kit will assuredly dazzle under the intensity of the Bernabéu spotlights. - The big question is will the players? This correspondent thinks they will and they'll come to the tapas table with the extra bit of zip I believe that they have been holding back with over the past couple of weeks. That zip should be bolstered by Mancio and Balotelli in particular having points to prove to Mourinho. Sergio Agüero too would relish the chance to beat the old enemy. From the off, Mancio's men must aim to dominate and control. They must not concede any ground. It is in midfield where the game will be won and lost. Fail to compete here and you get turned over. Simple as. Coinciding with Ronaldo's sadness, Real, particularly wobbly defending set pieces are not firing. This is as good a time as any to take them on following Mourinho's public slamming of his players this weekend. He wouldn't dish that out if he wasn't uneasy at the prospect of playing The Blues so early in the campaign. For City, this is the ideal game with which to start the quest and a chance to display the lessons learned from last season. A draw would be a terrific start but I'm sensing City's world class strikers could just edge this for Manchester. Should we win, the MCR feelgood factor is going to go stratospheric. Real Madrid 0 City 1
all times East Manchester
Su 23 Sep 16h00 Arsenal, The Etihad, PL
Tu 25 Sep 19h45 Aston Villa, The Etihad, LC3
Sa 29 Sep 15h00 Fulham, Craven Cottage, PL
We 03 Oct 19h45 Borussia Dortmund, The Etihad, PL
Sa 06 Oct 12h45 Sunderland, The Etihad, PL
Sa 20 Oct 15h00 West Brom, The Hawthorns, PL
We 24 Oct 19h45 Ajax, Amsterdam Arena, CL
Sa 27 Oct 17h30 Swansea City, The Etihad, PL