Real Madrid could be in a lot of trouble for the second leg of the Champions League semifinal at the Bernabéu against Man City.
After a dull, scoreless first leg, Real Madrid could be without their best player for a second game in a row if Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t ready to go after injuring his thigh.
To make matters worse, Karim Benzema may not be able to play earlier after being subbed off in the first half during the first leg after tweaking his leg.
Manager Zinedine Zidane spoke frankly on the matter,
“WE HOPE THEY CAN BOTH BE IN THE SECOND LEG, BUT WE HAVE TO TAKE IT DAY BY DAY.”
“WE ARE GOING TO TRY AND GET THEM FIT.”
“THIS IS OUR PLAN. I CAN’T ASSURE YOU OF ANYTHING. I CAN’T TELL YOU RIGHT NOW IF THEY WILL BE FIT.”
Perhaps Madrid will be able to muster a better attacking performance at home, even without Ronaldo and Benzema.
The Bernabéu is a veritable fortress for Real Madrid.
Even with home field advantage, losing Ronaldo is still a big blow. The guy is the all time leading scorer in the Champions League, after all.
Even if Ronaldo isn’t at 100%, just having him on the field gives his teammates a huge lift. He singlehandedly put them through to the semis on the strength of his hat trick against Wolfsburg.
Knowing a guy like that is out there competing for you puts that extra pep in your step and allows you to dig a little deeper; find that second wind.
Whatever the case, Madrid will have their work cut out for them. City is a top squad and they will come ready to play, no matter who takes the pitch for Real.