Champions League favourites Manchester City travel to Real Madrid on Wednesday in the first leg of their last-16 clash, while Juventus seek to beat Lyon away from home.
Real Madrid vs Manchester City Preview
City chief Pep Guardiola knows his trip to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu will act as a litmus test for their Champions League credentials, particularly considering the team will be banned from next season’s competition as things stand.
Los Blancos have won four of the past six Champions League finals—including three in a row between 2016 and 2018—while the Citizens are still hoping to reach their maiden final in the competition.
Guardiola appreciates the gulf between the two teams in terms of Champions League pedigree, referring to Real as the “kings of this competition” after his side beat Leicester City 1-0 on Saturday:
City could be facing Zinedine Zidane’s side at the right time, however, given they lost 1-0 at Levante over the weekend and gave up La Liga’s summit to fierce rivals Barcelona.
Real Madrid Lineup
Courtois, Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Benzema, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, Isco, Mendy, Vinicius Jr
Manchester City Lineup
Ederson, Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Mendy, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Mahrez, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Jesus
Lyon vs Juventus Preview
Lyon are without a wealth of injured first-team players, including Memphis Depay, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Rafael and Youssouf Kone, while Juve will be missing Douglas Costa, Merih Demiral and Sami Khedira.
Juventus would be remiss if they were to fail in assembling a first-leg advantage when they travel to the Groupama Stadium, where Lyon have won one of their last three home games.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in 11 successive Serie A games ahead of his visit to France, and Maurizio Sarri’s superstar has a habit of coming alive in the Champions League knockout stages.
The Bianconeri have won 1-0 in each of their two previous visits to Lyon—once under Antonio Conte in April 2014 and again under Massimiliano Allegri in October 2016—though we could see more goals during this visit.
Lopes, Denayer, Marcelo, Aouar, Dembélé, Dubois, Marçal, Ekambi, Cornet, Tousart, Gomez Soarez
Szczesny, De Ligt, Pjanic, Ronaldo, Dybala, Alex Sandro, Danilo, Cuadrado, Bonucci, Rabiot, Bentancur
Champions League Round-of-16 Schedule
Real Madrid vs. Manchester City – Wednesday, February 26 at 3 p.m. ET
Lyon vs. Juventus – Wednesday, February 26 at 3 p.m. ET