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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Manchester City vs. Real Madrid

The Etihad Stadium

21/11/12

19h45 GMT

On Sky

The Big One: The Citizens versus Los Merengues

#Together. History in the making Part Two. City, unfortunate to lose at The Bernabéu in September have an opportunity for pride and revenge at a packed Etihad Stadium

Vital Quotes:

Jose Mourinho:
"I think City can win...of course they can, and they can also win in Dortmund, why not, but eight points is not enough. I think they are out for a second time and that must be difficult for them. I think they are a team to win the competition - one of the teams to win the competition...
I don't think it is normal when you are out of the competition at the very early stage. When you are out at the group phase it is more difficult to accept and understand. But this is a very difficult group. Since the beginning we knew a big team is out, probably two. Other teams are playing easy groups and have known from day one they would qualify easily."


Sergio Ramos:
'We want to top the group. Real Madrid never play defensively. That is not in our nature. We are going to Manchester to win. City have improved in the Premier League. But we do not fear them. Real Madrid can win in any stadium in the world…it's a surprise they are nearly out of the Champions League. We really thought City would be our main rivals to top the group. City are a big group of players, not just individuals. But that does not guarantee success in the Champions League. This is the hardest group in the first round and this match is very important for both clubs. We both need to win for different reasons.'

Roberto Mancini:
'If we want to beat them we will have to defend very well. They have three or four players who can decide the game at any moment. If you have players who have won World Cups, like Silva - or won everything like Yaya, then playing against Real Madrid is the essence of football. When you are young and start to play football you think, 'I would love to play against Real Madrid, Barcelona.' Big players like the big challenges. But we will need perfect concentration for this game...Ronaldo is a top player and, when you come up against someone who can score one or two goals every game, it is difficult. We will need to concentrate. For me Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon D'Or. He scored so many goals last year and that helped Madrid finish above Barcelona.'

James Milner:
'We'll be going for it, make no mistake...we'll be going out to win and unlikely as it is that we will go through, we want to win our remaining two games and give ourselves at least half a chance and if that's not good enough, at least we can finish with our heads held high knowing that we kept going until the end. We are professionals who are representing Manchester City and every time you pull on that shirt you go out and give 100% and prove you are worthy of playing for this club - I think we've proved we try to do that whenever we play and that won't change on Wednesday night.'

Sergio Aguero:
'We should never give up. Where there's a will, there's a way...of course, it's harder now because we're not just relying on ourselves but also on the other teams' results. Whatever the final scoreline is - a good one, I hope - we'll show on the field that we don't give up, like we did in the game against Ajax and in every game we've played. We have a great team, I have no doubt about it and now it is time for us to show just how good we are. It's always special to play against a club like Real Madrid. Personally, my connection with Atlético Madrid gives it an additional kick - but there's no difference in how much I want to win this match.'

Manchester City Team News:

OUT:
Gael Clichy
Micah Richards
Jack Rodwell
Kolo Touré - Ineligible

LATE FITNESS TEST:
Mario Balotelli

City (from): Kolarov, Clichy, Nastasic, Milner, Nasri, Garcia, Barry, Silva, Y Toure, Evans, Sinclair, Dzeko, Aguero, Tevez, Balotelli.Provisional squad: Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Maicon, Kompany, Lescott.

Player to watch: Yaya Touré

The Blues need a big performance from Yaya, long overdue in The Champions League. So often our big game man, the giant Ivorian has a chance to here to not only put one over his old enemies, but also to secure a piece of history for The Blues. Midfield will be where this game is won and lost and City must impose themselves from the off.

Real Madrid Team News:

OUT:
Gonzalo Higuain
Marcelo
Michael Essien

Player to watch: Cristiano Ronaldo

Ladyboy Riverdancer is the ultimate dangerman, despite being a stupendous footballing mardarse. He would love nothing more than to seal City's Champions League demise and we'd love nothing more than seeing him cop for a Manchester defeat.

Match Facts & Stats

THE FACTS:
The English champions must win to avoid a second successive group stage elimination. A win or draw could take second-placed Madrid through depending on the AFC Ajax-Borussia Dortmund result.

After fighting back to draw with Dortmund and Ajax, City are unbeaten in 19 home European matches since a 1-0 loss to FC Midtjylland in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup second qualifying round.

Real won all six European home contests last term by an aggregate 24-6.

Mourinho 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 win a single derby match at Atlético Madrid despite scoring 3 goals.

Betting: City 21/10 Draw 13/5 Real 6/5
Racing Post Soccerbase

TV Coverage: Sky Sports 2 uk/ie HD
LiveOnSat.com


Ref Watch:

Gianluca Rocchi of Italy - Rocchi moved up from a Premier Development Category referee to the Elite group at the start of the season 2010 - 2011. Only a season later he got a quarter-final Real Madrid vs APOEL. Was selected for the 2012 Olympic tournament and his name is on the list of 52 for the 2014 World Cup. source: WorldReferee.com

Match Prediction:

Johnny On The Spot: - Considering the depth of top quality that City have faced in the Group D Champions League of death, for The Blues to qualify from the situation we find ourselves in now, the achievement would surely eclipse that of the two teams who recovered to qualify from the same rock bottom position: FC Lokomotiv Moskva with one point after four games in 2002/03 and Porto with an equivalent two points in 2004/05...A hell of a tall order awaits in attempting to beat both Real and Dortmund, arguably two of the finest club sides in the world, but it can be done. They are not unbeatable as their respective domestic records this season show. City have the tools to give any team in the world a game but for that to happen this week, Mancio's squad know there is no margin for error and no quarter whatsoever can be given. The Blues, with their two year Champions League baptism of fire know what they have to do to prove they are contenders. I`m going to stick my neck and suggest that a rocking stadium and just maybe a little bit of the luck that has totally eluded us in Europe can propel City to a famous victory. City 2 Real Madrid 0

Next Fixtures:

all times East Manchester
Su 25 Nov 16h00 Chelsea, Stamford Bridge, PL
We 28 Nov 20h00 Wigan, DW Stadium, PL
Sa 01Dec 15h00 Everton, The Etihad, PL
Tu 04Dec 19h45 B Dortmund, Signal Iduna Park, CL
Su 09Dec 13h30 The rags, The Etihad, PL
Sa 15Dec 12h45 Newcastle, St James' Park, PL
Sa 22Dec 15h00 Reading, The Etihad, PL
We 26Dec 15h00 Sunderland, Stadium of Light, PL
Sa 29Dec 15h00 Norwich, Carrow Road, PL




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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 20 2012

Time: 10:38AM

Your Comments

A tough ask at the best of times. Have no idea whether it will make any difference that RM cannot take their foot of the gas due to the tightness of the group - they will want to come top - as they have enough quality to hurt any team at any time as we have already found to our cost. :-( Could be a classic. We need some BIG performances tonight.
Skoorb
 

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