Thursday, January 19, 2017

Zidane: Real Madrid are always favourites

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 15 Apr 2016

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Zinedine Zidane feels Real Madrid are the favourites in their Champions League semi-final tie with Manchester City, but has warned the Premier League side should not be taken lightly.

Speaking after the two clubs were drawn together in Friday’s draw in Nyon, the French coach said Madrid’s struggles against Wolfsburg in the quarter-finals were behind his call for caution.

The Liga side needed a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick in the second leg to turn things around after a 2-0 defeat in Germany in the first leg, and Zidane is adamant Madrid cannot afford to make the same mistakes.

“Real Madrid are always the favourites and that’s no different in the semi-final against Manchester City,” Zidane said at a media conference.

“But City are a great team. I do not want to hear people say Manchester City will be an easy opponent. People also said Wolfsburg were not a strong team and we saw what happened.

“I see City as a strong opponent, just like Roma and Wolfsburg were difficult rivals.

“The positive thing is that we play the return at home. It will be a balanced tie.”

Both sides last met in the group stages in 2012-13, when Madrid scored two late goals to beat City on matchday one, while the game in Manchester finished 1-1.

The first leg of this season’s encounter is scheduled to take place at the Etihad Stadium on April 26.

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