Two Champions League heavyweights go head-to-head at the Bernabeu tonight as Real Madrid welcome Manchester City for the first-leg of their mouthwatering round of 16 tie.
These sides last met in the competition at the semi-final stage in 2016. Los Blancos emerged victorious on that occasion before edging out city rivals Atletico in the final at the San Siro.
So can Real put down a marker ahead of the second-leg? Or will Pep Guardiola’s men manage what Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham have all failed to do and secure a first-leg advantage?
Neither side will want to give anything away ahead of the second-leg, though. And with both teams having drawn two of their last three in the Champions League, the Draw is 5/2.
Guardiola has been handed a huge boost with the news that Raheem Sterling is fit again following a recent hamstring injury. He’ll come in for Riyad Mahrez alongside Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva.
Ilkay Gundogan could also make way to accommodate the return of David Silva, while Fernandinho will continue as a makeshift centre-half next to Aymeric Laporte after serving a one-match CL ban.
City’s centre-halves will at least be breathing a sigh of relief at the loss of Eden Hazard. The ex-Chelsea talisman could miss the rest of the season after fracturing his ankle at the weekend.
Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Isco are all frontrunners to replace the Belgian. The latter’s experience could earn him the nod alongside Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in a fearsome front three.
Federico Valverde and Ferland Mendy may also return, although it’s the performance of midfield general Casemiro that could hold the key to the outcome of the tie.
City’s forwards will smell blood tonight. Their opponents have conceded 11 goals in their last five home matches in the Champions League, including shipping four to Ajax at this stage last year.
Gabriel Jesus may also fancy his chances off the bench. The Brazilian has netted 17 goals this season and has had the final say on five occasions. He’s 5/1 to Score Last in the contest.
Where: Santiago Bernabeu
When: 8:00pm, Wednesday 26th February.
How to Watch: BT Sport 2 / BT Sport Ultimate
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication