Pep Guardiola delight as Man City learn ‘essential’ Real Madrid star could miss Champions League clash, with Ancelotti ‘alarmed’

Vinicius Junior, Eduardo Camavinga and Rodrygo of Real Madrid

Manchester City could face a weakened Real Madrid side on Wednesday as Carlo Ancelotti is unsure whether he will have one of his ‘essential’ players available, as per a report.

City drew 1-1 with Real at the Bernabeu in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie last week. Vinicius Junior had sent Real in front in the 36th minute with a venomous effort, but Kevin de Bruyne pulled City level after the break with a great strike of his own.

The draw means City must beat Ancelotti’s side at the Etihad on Wednesday night in order to keep their hopes of winning a fantastic treble alive.

One battle that must be monitored in the return leg is City striker Erling Haaland and Real centre-back Antonio Rudiger. The former Chelsea defender did brilliantly to keep Haaland quiet in Spain, limiting him to just 21 touches throughout the entire game.

However, few defenders have been able to stop the deadly forward all season and it remains to be seen whether Rudiger can do so for another 90 minutes.

Real will also have to be wary of City captain Ilkay Gundogan, who has registered four goals in his last two Premier League appearances.

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Real, of course, have match-winners of their own, including Vinicius, Rodrygo, Karim Benzema and Federico Valverde. But the Spanish giants may be weakened by the absence of Eduardo Camavinga.

The 20-year-old normally operates in midfield but has spent a large portion of the season playing at left-back amid Ferland Mendy’s injury.

Man City handed boost by Real Madrid

According to Spanish newspaper AS (via Sport Witness), there is ‘alarm’ among Ancelotti and senior Real officials after Camavinga picked up a knock in the 1-0 home win over Getafe on Saturday. He had to be substituted in the 84th minute.

Camavinga is described as being an ‘essential’ player for Real due to his defensive ability and the fact he can get forward and help with attacks from left-back.

It is claimed he will have an MRI scan to determine the extent of the injury. Real will then decide whether to risk playing him or use Mendy instead.

Mendy is a top player in his own right. However, he has barely featured since the end of January due to a muscle problem. When he has played, the former Lyon star has only been used for 45 minutes or less.

Due to this, Guardiola will be looking to capitalise on the situation, should Camavinga miss the game. Guardiola could start with Bernardo Silva on the right flank and then bring on Riyad Mahrez when Mendy begins to tire in the second half.

Meanwhile, a top Premier League performer has been told to snub Arsenal and instead join City in what would be a huge transfer.