June 8, 2023

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Stones fit to bolster Man City defence against Madrid

Stones fit to bolster Man City defence against Madrid

John Stones recovered from a muscle problem in time to start at right-back for Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola had a selection headache with first-choice full-backs Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker ruled out by suspension and injury respectively.

Oleksandr Zinchenko deputises for Cancelo at left-back.

Stones normally operates at centre-back and has been given the tough task of keeping Vinicius Junior quiet in an unfamiliar role.

Gabriel Jesus is retained by Guardiola up front as a reward for his four-goal showing against Watford on Saturday with Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish left on the bench.

Influential Madrid midfielder Casemiro was only fit enough for a place on the bench, but David Alaba was fit to start for the Spanish giants.

Rodrygo got the nod from Carlo Ancelotti to partner the in-form Karim Benzema and Vinicius in attack.

Manchester City (4-3-3)

Ederson; John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Ruben Dias (capt), Oleksandr Zinchenko; Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne; Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus

Coach: Pep Guardiola (ESP)

Real Madrid (4-3-3)

Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, David Alaba, Ferland Mendy; Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Fede Valverde; Rodrygo, Karim Benzema (capt), Vinicius Junior

Coach: Carlo Ancelotti (ITA)

Referee: Istvan Kovacs (ROU)

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