Real Madrid and Manchester City face very different competitive demands in the days leading up to the second leg of the Champions League semifinal on Wednesday at the Etihad (9:00 p.m., Movistar). Guardiola’s team continues to fight for the Premier, while Ancelotti’s, who host Getafe this Saturday, lost their options in the League weeks ago. So the Italian can be more cautious when choosing players: “I want to reserve the players who are tired, but the ones who are well will all be available. Tomorrow’s team will be very, very competitive, ”he said this Friday.
Ceballos and Mendy returned to work with the group on Friday, in a brief morning session in Valdebebas from which Benzema, Rodrygo and Alaba were absent. Ancelotti explained that they were carrying various blows from Tuesday’s first leg at the Bernabéu. This Saturday they have been summoned with everyone in the sports city: their condition will be tested and they could be included in the call, the preparation of which has been delayed.
While, in Manchester, Guardiola regretted the celebration of the Eurovision Song Contest this Saturday in Liverpool, which ended up causing them to have one less rest day than Madrid before the return of the Champions League: “We couldn’t play on Saturday, because I was Eurovision in Liverpool, and we don’t have enough police, or we can’t handle two big events at the same time,” he explained. “I don’t understand it, but I don’t want to fight anymore about it. It is what it is”.
With four days to go in the Premier, City take a point from Arsenal, and with one game less than Mikel Arteta’s team. The calendar worries Guardiola also on the domestic front. In the current circumstances, visiting Goodison Park is a more demanding point for him, “because it is between two Champions League games.”
However, he did not want to attribute too much weight to fatigue: “I tell the players: ‘You’re tired, I know that. It’s normal to be tired.” Haaland is not even worried about him, who has played 90 minutes of the last five games, after a time in which he dosed him, just before he was injured and missed the game with his team against Spain: “It’s the end of the season, control of everything is here [se señaló la cabeza]. And I see him in training, I see his body language. He played a very, very intense game in Madrid, and he wouldn’t have done it if he had been tired.”
Ancelotti, from the Getafe game, is more concerned about the emotional aspect: “A good game tomorrow keeps you going, and a bad game makes you worry, which we don’t need for an important game like Wednesday’s.”
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