Real Madrid have confirmed that Antonio Rudiger will start on the bench for Wednesday night’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Manchester City.
Los Blancos were held to a 1-1 draw by the English champions in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu last week. Vinicius Junior fired the hosts ahead in the first half, but they were pegged back by a screamer from Kevin De Bruyne after the break.
During that game, Rudiger was praised for his handling of Erling Haaland. The Norway striker barely had a sniff in the Spanish capital and spent much of the game being hounded and pocketed by the former Chelsea defender.
Ahead of the second leg, there were suggestions that Man City boss Pep Guardiola could throw up a surprise in his choice of lineup as he so often has done in the Champions League, but Carlo Ancelotti appears to have beaten him to the punch.
Real Madrid have announced that Rudiger has been replaced by Eder Militao in the starting XI, with the Brazilian returning to the fold after missing the first leg through a suspension.
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Ancelotti’s men are otherwise unchanged from the side who drew with Man City last Tuesday, though they did make multiple changes from the lineup that beat Getafe 1-0 on Saturday in La Liga.
Rudiger was on press duty following the first leg draw and he boldly claimed that Man City ‘were not dangerous’.
“They got the goal quite late so we feel like we could have had more but it’s not a problem, the tie is definitely on and we can go to Manchester with confidence,” Rudiger said last Tuesday.
“At the end of the day they were not dangerous. They had a lot of possession, we knew this would happen, but they were not dangerous. The goal is quality from De Bruyne.”
When asked about how he felt heading back to the Etihad Stadium, Rudiger replied: “We areReal Madrid, we are always confident.”
Man City starting XI vs Real Madrid (3-2-4-1): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji; Stones, Rodri; Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish; Haaland
Real Madrid starting XI vs Man City (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga; Kroos, Modric, Valverde; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius
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