Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 26th 2016 Contents that has kept seven clean sheets
in 10 Champions League matches,
in addition to 22 clean sheets in
35 rounds of the Spanish league -
keeping it level on points with
leader Barcelona with three match-
Atletico will likely be without
injured centerback Diego Godin.
That leaves youngsters Jose
Gimenez and Lucas Hernandez to
hold down its back line against
Robert Lewandowski and Thomas
Mueller s combined 16 goals in the
"The tie against Bayern is going
to be as hard or harder than the
one against Barcelona," Gimenez
said. "They have different
weapons, but play a similar kind
of football. We hope that they
don t have a good night and we
can get a good result."
In their only prior meeting, Bay-
ern needed a replay to beat Atletico
in the 1974 final for its first of five
One win away from clinching a
third Bundesliga title in as many
years under Guardiola, Bayern is
focused winning the Champions
League to cap the Catalan man-
ager s last season in charge before
taking over at City next season.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, April 26, 2016
BARCELONA---Real Madrid heads to
Manchester City for today s first leg
of their Champions League semifinal
with one major concern: the fitness
of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Ben-
Both star strikers, who have scored
74 goals between them this season, are
nursing right-leg injuries.
Ronaldo strained a muscle in a win
over Villarreal on Wednesday, ruling
him out of Saturday s match at Rayo
Vallecano - that Benzema exited before
halftime with a leg injury of his own.
Coach Zinedine Zidane said that
Ronaldo, who trained on Sunday, will
travel with the squad to England. Ben-
zema is a bigger worry for the former
"We re going to assess Benzema,"
Zidane said after Saturday s match. "All
I can say is that it s not a knock. I hope
that it s nothing serious and that he ll
be available for Tuesday."
While fitness is the focus for Madrid,
crosstown rival Atletico Madrid is
preparing its defense to handle Bayern
Munich s impressive attack in Wednes-
day s other semifinal.
Here is a closer look at this week s
Champions League matches:
The 10-time champions have already
found their saviour in case Ronaldo
and Benzema have not fully recovered
to face City.
Gareth Bale rose to the occasion
when both his strike partners were out
on Saturday, scoring two goals to lead
a 3-2 comeback victory at Rayo that
kept Madrid in the fight for the Spanish
For Bale, Madrid has the "psycho-
logical" advantage of playing the second
leg back in Spain.
"If we get a good result in the Etihad
Stadium, back at the Bernabeu our fans
are always going to help us," Bale said.
"As long as we don t lose there, we ll
be very confident at the Bernabeu."
Under former Madrid manager
Manuel Pellegrini, City is in fine form
domestically in April. Besides a draw
against lowly Newcastle, high-scoring
wins --- 3-0 over Chelsea and a 4-0
rout of Stoke on Saturday --- are a
reminder of City at its best.
Kevin de Bruyne has been the inspi-
ration behind the revival, as a dynamo
in midfielder since returning after two
months out. The Belgian was rested
against Stoke in preparation for Madrid.
"Now almost everybody is back and
it gives us a different feeling," De Bruyne
The match at Vicente Calderon Sta-
dium promises to be an intriguing clash
of styles between two of the game s
most respected managers.
While Pep Guardiola has remade
Bayern on the model of his attractive
Barcelona sides, Diego Simeone has
forged Atletico into one of the best
defensive teams in Europe and has it
on the cusp of a second final in three
Atletico has already proven strong
enough to suffocate Barcelona s trio of
Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar
in the last round.
Goalie Jan Oblak anchors a defense
LONDON---Leicester is one win from
its first Premier League title after Tot-
tenham was held 1-1 by West
Bromwich Albion yesterday.
Leicester, a team transformed since
narrowly avoiding relegation a year ago,
can clinch the biggest prize in its 132-
year history by beating Manchester
United on Sunday.
Holding a seven-point lead over Tot-
tenham, Leicester has three chances to
become one of the unlikeliest cham-
pions of the English top flight and the
first maiden title-winner since Not-
tingham Forest in 1978. Tottenham also
has three games left.
West Brom --- one of only two teams
Leicester hasn t beaten in its last nine
matches --- did the central England
team a big favour at White Hart Lane.
Craig Dawson denied Tottenham the
win with a 73rd-minute header after
the defender s own goal gifted the hosts
the lead in the first half.
Although Spurs look set to miss out
on a first title since 1961, they are close
to qualifying for the Champions League
for the first time in six years.
Mauricio Pochettino s side might
have to cope without Dele Alli for some
of its remaining matches through sus-
pension. Video emerged of Alli appear-
ing to swing a punch at Claudio Yacob s
stomach during the first half and he
could face retrospective action ---
assuming it was missed by the refer-
ee.Preparing for this match meant the
20-year-old Alli missed Sunday s Pro-
fessional Footballers Association cer-
emony, where he was named young
player of the year. Alli, who was playing
in the third tier last year, has been a
driving force behind Tottenham s unex-
pected title challenge.
The midfield dynamo showed why
early on, playing a slick one-two with
Harry Kane before the striker s shot
was tipped onto the post by goalkeeper
West Brom posed little threat in the
first half, content instead to attempt
to frustrate the hosts. Manager Tony
Pulis was far more assertive than his
team, bellowing instructions as opposite
number Pochettino remained typically
Spurs picked up where they left off
in the 4-0 demolition of Stoke City,
with intense pressing but an opening
goal was hard to produce. Christian
Eriksen s free kick clipped the crossbar
and a low shot from Kane was turned
round the post by Myhill. All West
Brom could offer in response was Craig
Gardner blasting a shot over. (AP)
Spurs draw puts
Leicester closer to title
Ronaldo, Benzema injuries on Real's mind
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, right, vies for the ball with Villarreal's
Mario Perez during their Spanish La Liga encounter at the Santiago
Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on April 20. AP PHOTO
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