UEFA Champion League – Rafael Benitez Warns Man City About 3 Real Madrid Players Ahead Of The Semi-Final.
Rafael Benitez, who previously coached Liverpool and Newcastle United, has cautioned Manchester City about the danger posed by three players from Real Madrid before the two teams’ UEFA Champions League semi-final match on Tuesday.
On Tuesday night, the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium will be the venue for the first-leg tie of the Champions League semi-final between Real Madrid and Manchester City. Rafael Benitez has identified three key players from Real Madrid who could potentially create difficulties for Manchester City during the match.
In the first leg of the Champions League semi-final, Manchester City will confront Real Madrid, led by Carlo Ancelotti, at the Bernabeu Stadium. Manchester City seeks to avenge their defeat from the previous season when Real Madrid eliminated them from the semi-finals.
After defeating Manchester City, Real Madrid won the Champions League by beating Liverpool in the final, a Premier League team.
According to Benitez, Manchester City should be concerned about Vinicius, Karim Benzema, and Thibaut Courtois.
In an interview with The Times, Benitez expressed his concerns about Real Madrid’s attacking threats against Manchester City. He highlighted Vinicius Jr.’s ability to exploit space on the right side of City’s backline and praised Karim Benzema’s movement and ability to create difficulties for opposing centre-backs.
Benitez acknowledged the risks of leaving Benzema against just one centre-back but emphasized the importance of trusting players. Additionally, Benitez stresses the significance of Thibaut Courtois as a world-class goalkeeper who has performed well for Real Madrid in difficult situations.
Finally, he predicted an exciting battle between Courtois and Erling Haaland.
According to Benitez, when facing Real Madrid this time, he believes that Erling Haaland is a superior choice for Manchester City compared to Gabriel Jesus, who he previously sold to Arsenal.
He said, ‘Where Haaland is different from Gabriel Jesus, who played when the teams last met, is that he is stronger in the air,’.
‘So if Real are defending deeper, City can now make more crosses because they have someone who will be on the end of that delivery. When City played with a false No 9, the player was linking with the wingers and the midfielders.
‘Now they possess a striker who has been improving his link-up play all season but also wants to be in the penalty box.
‘Previously, City could pass and pass, and if that did not work, they did not really have the option of a cross.
‘This season if they cannot find a penetrating pass, or a ball from the edge of the box, they can play a cross.’
Since Pep Guardiola arrived at Etihad in 2016, Man City has been expected to win the Champions League, a feat they have never achieved. The team currently leads the Premier League and has qualified for the FA Cup final this season. Still, their upcoming game against Real Madrid significantly challenges them in pursuing a historic treble.