CHRIS SUTTON: With Sergio Ramos suspended for Champions League return, Manchester City aces will be licking their lips… and I predict that Pep Guardiola’s side will go through to the quarter-finals!
- Sergio Ramos was sent-off for Real Madrid in the first-leg at the Bernabeu
- That means the talismanic captain is not available on Friday against Man City
- It is significant, given Ramos was instrumental in Madrid winning the LaLiga title
- It will be fascinating to see how City approach the game given their first-leg lead
Sergio Ramos has missed six matches in Europe for Real Madrid in the last two years and his team lost five of them.
That includes a 4-1 defeat by Ajax at the Bernabeu which resulted in Real crashing out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage.
The fact Ramos is suspended for Friday night’s match is big news for Manchester City. He is Real’s leader, their inspiration and a big reason why they won 10 of their last 11 LaLiga games to take the Spanish title from Barcelona.
Sergio Ramos’ red card in the first-leg back in February means he is not available on Friday
The Real Madrid captain was instrumental as Zinedine Zidane’s side won LaLiga recently
When you’re a striker and you know the opposition’s star defender is out, it encourages you. You go into the game raring to go and ready to rip into the stand-in.
City’s forwards should be licking their lips. But I do wonder what we’ll see from Pep Guardiola’s side on Friday night. Do they go on the front foot? Do they need to play that way? Should they be shutting up shop?
Are they even capable of doing that under Guardiola? That’s not his philosophy and City’s performance in Madrid was exceptional.
City’s attacking players, like Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne, should be licking their lips
Ramos, pictured with left back Marcelo, has made the trip to Manchester with his team-mates
Ramos may be unavailable at the back but Real have players who can hurt City up front, even if Gareth Bale has been left at home.
Eden Hazard could start, while Karim Benzema has been in fine goalscoring form. City can be vulnerable at the back — that was the main reason they finished 18 points behind Liverpool in the Premier League.
So this tie isn’t over, but Ramos’s absence leaves Real at a huge disadvantage.
PREDICTION: 3-2 to Man City (5-3 on aggregate)