City make two changes for tonight’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

Nicolas Otamendi and Gabriel Jesus are recalled after starting on the bench against Leicester City, while David Silva and Sergio Aguero drop to the bench and are joined by the fit-again Raheem Sterling.

Starting XI:

Ederson, Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Mendy, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne (c), Mahrez, Bernardo, G Jesus

Subs: Bravo, Cancelo, Aguero, Foden, Fernandinho, Sterling, D Silva

Real Madrid XI:

Courtois, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, F Mendy, Casemiro, Modric, Valverde, Isco, Vinicius, Benzema


Subs: Areola, Militao, Bale, Kroos, Marcelo, Lucas, Jovic

Probable formation and tactics (4-3-3)

City have gone for a solid-looking midfield with Ilkay Gundogan and Rodrigo alongside Kevin De Bruyne.

Gabriel Jesus gets the nod as the striker, with Bernardo and Riyad Mahrez retaining their places on either flank.

The City boss has elected for Otamendi to partner Aymeric Laporte, while Kevin De Bruyne wears the skipper’s armband.

City will hunt for an away goal

Playing on a stage like the Bernabeu is never easy.

Real Madrid will be represented by the eleven players who start the game and any who come off the bench, but it is hard for opposing players to not feel the weight of history that comes with playing Los Blancos.

There will be 80,000 fans inside one of the most famous stadiums in the world and a team full of international talent on the pitch – so how do you approach the game?

Pep Guardiola took his Barcelona side to the Bernabeu in 2011 and left with a 2-0 first leg victory in the Champions League semi-final.

It was a bad-tempered affair, with Barca matching Real physically and defending stoically before Lionel Messi scored two late goals.

A repeat of that result for City tonight would be incredible and it is certainly not impossible.

The question is, should City go at Madrid and try and grab an early goal or sit back and wait for counter-attacking opportunities?

It’s worth remembering that City are one of the best away teams in European football this season, winning 13 and drawing twice in 19 matches in all competitions.

With 60 goals scored and 21 conceded, Pep’s team are averaging close to a scoreline of 3-1 every time we play away.

And only Spurs have prevented City scoring on their travels this season – and in that game Ilkay Gundogan missed a penalty and the Blues racked up 19 shots to Tottenham’s three.

So it seems certain that there will be chances, and while there have been misses and wasted opportunities in a number of matches this campaign, City need to take any openings that are presented this evening.

Madrid haven’t been prolific...

Real Madrid struggled through their Champions League group – by their own high standards.

Club Bruges led 2-0 at the Bernabeu before being pegged back 2-2 and PSG thrashed Real 3-0 in Paris.

PSG also drew 2-2 in the return at the Bernabeu, scoring twice late on to salvage a precious draw that confirmed the French side would end as group winners.

Not a stellar qualification by any means and encouragement for City this evening.

Stats and facts

Real Madrid have beaten the last four English sides (Spurs, Manchester United, City and Liverpool) they’ve played, either over two legs in one-off games.

The last time to prevent Real Madrid scoring in a Champions League knockout game was Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in 2011.

Real have failed to win their last three knockout phase matches at the Bernabeu.

Under Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid have won all 12 knockout-phase matches, winning nine two-legged ties and three finals.

Raheem Sterling has scored 10 goals in his last 13 Champions League appearances - only Lionel Messi (six) and Cristiano Ronaldo (five) scored more times than Sterling in last season's knockout stages (four).