Zidane braces up for tough Champions League semi-final

Madrid, April 15 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane expects a tough Champions League semi-final football clash with Manchester City.

Manchester City were considered to be the most accessible of the three possible rivals Madrid could face with the other semi pairingof Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich. Zidane’s side have been favoured for having the second leg at their home ground, the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, reports Xinhua.

It is the sixth consecutive time that Madrid have had the return leg at home, but Zidane didn’t want to speak about the luck of the draw.

“It is a semi-final and it will be a very very difficult game. The only positive thing about it is that we have the return in the Bernabeu,” he said, brushing aside words from Manchester City sporting director, Txiki Beguristein that Madrid were favourites to reach the final.

“Everyone will say we are favourites, but we know how hard City are and we will prepare our best to face them,” he said.

Finally Zidane rejected a question that after reaching the last four by beating Roma, Wolfsburg and then being drawn to face Manchester City, his side always had the easiest rivals in every round.

“I don’t agree with that, everyone said Wolfsburg would be easy and you saw what happened there,” he said in reference to his side’s 3-2 aggregate win in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola commented that the tie against Atletico Madrid would be difficult explaining that “Barcelona are the best side in Europe and Atletico have knocked them out of the Champions League twice in three years, which shows how tough they are to beat.”

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