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Zidane: Benzema and Ronaldo should be fit

ZIDANE: Real manager on semi-final showdown

ZIDANE: Real manager on semi-final showdown

Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo are both in line to start for Real Madrid against City at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.

Zinedine Zidane told journalists that both players will be assessed in their final training session before the Champions League semi-final but he expects them both to come through and be fit.

He said: “The idea is that we want Karim and Cristiano to play. We have the last training session now and we’ll see. I Think they’ll be fine but we’ll test anything.

“They’re fine today – they’re players who look after themselves physically, 100%. I think they’ll be fine to play.”

The Frenchman also paid tribute to Kevin De Bruyne, admitting that the Belgian is a player Real Madrid will need to watch if they’re to progress to yet another Champions League final.

He continued: “The opponent is a great side – if you leave City space they can hurt you. The players get between the lines and cause you problems. We will try to stop that happening. Then, when we’ve got the ball we want to express ourselves. That’s the plan.

“Plan to stop De Bruyne? We’ll try to do that. We now he’s a top player in good form. When he arrived in this team he showed what a quality player he is. He links very well with Aguero, we’ll see what happens tomorrow – we’ll try to be play him as well as we can.

“We’ll do the best we possibly can here in this ground. City will put us under pressure and make things hard for us but we’re ready for that.”

Gareth Bale was alongside his manager at the pre-match press conference.

The Welsh winger also believes that Real Madrid are in for a tough assignment and is forecasting a tough tie.

Bale added: “We know it’s going to be difficult but it will be an exciting game for everyone to watch.”

“We’ve had not a great performance away to Wolfsburg but it’s something we’ve learned from. We go into the game confident and trying to win it.

“First legs are always a bit tense and cagey but we’ll give our best and hopefully it’ll be enough.

“I think no matter who you face in the semi, they’re here on merit. You don’t get to the semi-final by luck. All of the teams are equally as hard.

“If anything, I’m surprised City didn’t get here earlier. They’re a club who’ve progressed and have become a force in the Premier League.

“They’ve done very well to this moment and hopefully now we can stop them.”

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