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Saturday 19 April 2014

Manchester City v Real Madrid: The key battles

Manchester City take on Real Madrid on Wednesday in a Champions League Group D match they must win to stand any chance of reaching the knockout stages. Here are some of the key battles that will decide the game

ROBERTO MANCINI v JOSE MOURINHO

The most important battle could be in the dug-out as two former Inter Milan coaches and perceived rivals try to outwit each other. Both managers have had their local critics this season but their records speak for themselves and their squads are packed with quality.

VINCENT KOMPANY v CRISTIANO RONALDO

City captain Kompany, formidable last season, has been under scrutiny this season and must now deal with the threat of one of the world's most devastating players cutting in from the left. Kompany was criticised for ducking under Ronaldo's late winning shot when the sides met at the Bernabeu in September.

GARETH BARRY v MESUT OZIL

Midfield man Barry could be deployed in anchor role to keep an eye on Ozil, the creative link between Real's central positions and their attack. The German seems to be back in favour with Mourinho after some reported difficulties earlier in the campaign.

SERGIO AGUERO v SERGIO RAMOS

Aguero, after scoring four goals in his last three games, is now starting to find his rhythm after injury sidelined him for a month at the start of the season. Experienced Spain international Ramos forms the backbone of the Real defence with Pepe.

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