If ever there was a narrative surrounding Manchester City in recent years when it comes to the Champions League, it would be manager Pep Guardiola overthinking his team selection.
Once again, he has left himself open to that criticism. John Stones has overcome his injury issues to be fit to start the match, but it appears he will do so either as part of a back three or at right back. Guardiola has included three natural central defenders and Oleksandr Zinchenko will likely occupy the left flank in some capacity.
Ahead of them, the team selection is a little more conventional, with Phil Foden starting alongside Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez in the front three.
TEAM NEWS ??
XI | Ederson, Stones, Dias (C), Laporte, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Mahrez, Foden, Jesus
SUBS | Steffen, Carson, Ake, Sterling, Gundogan, Grealish, Fernandinho, Egan-Riley, Mbete, Palmer, McAtee, Lavia#ManCity pic.twitter.com/9mNWYwXigB
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 26, 2022
?? ¡Nuestro ?? inicial ? @ManCityES! ?#UCL | @UnicajaBanco pic.twitter.com/macFpe5hm7
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) April 26, 2022
Joao Cancelo’s suspension and Kyle Walker’s absence may have caused the rethink for Guardiola. Real Madrid have been suffering their own fitness issues before the match, but Ferland Mendy and David Alaba have both recovered in time for the match.
Casemiro has only made the bench due to injury, but Carlo Ancelotti has gone for a like-for-like replacement in Fede Valverde, with Rodrygo Goes occupying the right side of attack.