Real Madrid looking for some payback against Manchester City

Manchester City battered Real Madrid on their way to winning the Champions League last season.

The last time Manchester City and Real Madrid met, Pep Guardiola's side battered the Spanish giants 4-0 on their way to winning the Champions League.

These two sides meet again, this time in the quarterfinals with Madrid getting the short end of the stick drawing the reigning champions.

"This was an opponent that, to be honest, we didn't want to face," Rodrygo said. "And they think the same as well; they didn't want to play against us. It's a game that everyone expects to be the final, but it's going to be now. Man City are very good, but our team is also very strong. It's going to be good to meet again.

Real Madrid is currently running away with LaLiga, eight points ahead of Barcelona. But they haven't been all that convincing at time. The arrival of Jude Bellingham has certainly added another dimension.

Whether the presence of Bellingham will be enough remains to be seen. If Manchester City can replicate what they did at the Etihad last season, Bellingham won't be enough. It's something Carlo Ancelotti knows can't happen again if they want to advance to the semifinals.

Courage and personality are fundamental in this kind of game," Ancelotti said. "The mental element is important: we need personality. But it was not just mentality, character; it was also technical, football. They pressed us high and we did not find solutions, we didn't manage that. We want to avoid that in this tie."

Playing the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu could be a blessing in disguise as Real Madrid will have the support of the fans behind them. Anything less than a win, however, and the advantage goes to Manchester City.

Madrid do have the advantage of a longer break as there was no La Liga action this weekend on account of the Copa del Rey final. City, on the other hand, beat Crystal Palace 4-2 as they are in the midst of a title race.

City are also carrying some injuries with Kyle Walker out and Joško Gvardiol a doubt. Ilkay Gundogan, the difference maker in last season's tie is no longer with the club. Despite all that, Manchester City still possess plenty of talented players. Erling Haaland was kept at bay last time so City will undoubtedly look for him to make his presence felt.

The likes of Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Rodrigo are going to be on their game. Even with Madrid's shortcoming, they seem to always turn on the switch in the Champions League.

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A win for City would be huge given the second leg is at home. A draw wouldn't be the worst result either as they drew last time out as well. Just like Madrid flip a switch in this competition, so does Pep Guardiola when it comes to facing Los Blancos.