MANCHESTER, Sporting Alert – Despite his manager claiming that he’s 100-percent fit to start, Cristiano Ronaldo will not play for Real Madrid in today’s Championships League first-leg semi-finals at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
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Ronaldo was being bothered by a thigh injury that forced him to miss weekend’s La Liga game, but his Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane told his pre-match press conference that the Portugal international was in line to start.
It was a different story here, however, on Tuesday evening, as Zidane named his match day squad and Ronaldo didn’t even make the bench after he reportedly failed a late fitness test.
This is a massive blow for the European giants, although Karim Benzema, who was also doubtful for the contest, takes his place in the starting line-up.
Replaced Ronaldo in the starting XI here this evening is Lucas Vazquez and he joins Benzema and Gareth Bale in the attack.
The unavailability of Ronaldo is also a massive boost for the likes of Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi who have both looked shaky in the back.
On the attacking side though, Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Jesus Navas all start with Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph, Kelechi Iheanacho and Aleksandar Kolarov among the players on the bench for the English Premier League side.
World Cup star James Rodriguez, who will be disappointed at not being selected to replace Ronaldo today, is of the top players available from the bench for Real Madrid.
Attacking players Jese and Isco, midfielder Mateo Kovacic and defender Raphael Varane are also on the bench.
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Manchester City Starting XI: Hart, Sagna, Kompany, Otamendi, Clichy, Fernando, Fernandinho, Navas, Silva, De Bruyne, Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Mangala, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Delph, Sterling, Iheanacho.
Real Madrid Starting XI: Navas, Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Bale, Lucas Vazquez, Benzema. Subs: Casilla, Varane, James, Kovacic, Jese, Isco, Danilo.