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The sight Man City fans didn't want to see ... Cristiano Ronaldo training at the Etihad

Real Madrid enjoyed a run out in Manchester this evening.

Bale, Ronaldo and Modric trained in Manchester this evening.
Bale, Ronaldo and Modric trained in Manchester this evening.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

ZINEDINE ZIDANE SAYS he expects both Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema to face Manchester City in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg.

Ronaldo did not feature in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Rayo Vallecano after sustaining a thigh muscle strain in Madrid’s previous game, while Benzema was forced off with a knee problem.

But both forwards made the journey to Manchester with the rest of the Madrid squad and while Zidane said they would both be assessed after training, he is confident that they will be able to play.

“The idea is that we want them to play tomorrow, of course,” he told his pre-match press conference at City’s Etihad Stadium.

“We have the last training session now, so we’ll see. They’re absolutely fine at the moment. I think they’ll be fine.

Manchester City v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League - Semi-Final - First Leg - Real Madrid Training and Press Conference - Etihad Stadium Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

“They’re 100 percent, but we’ll test everything. The idea is that they’ll play.”

Ronaldo and Benzema were present for the part of the pre-match training session open to the media, warming up with the rest of the squad and taking part in a ‘toro’ ball possession exercise.

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Ronaldo has scored 47 goals in all competitions this season and Benzema 27, with Gareth Bale’s tally of 18 taking the trio’s total haul to 92.

Manchester City v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League - Semi-Final - First Leg - Real Madrid Training and Press Conference - Etihad Stadium Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ronaldo, formerly of City’s sworn enemies Manchester United, needs one goal to equal his own record of 17 goals in a single Champions League campaign, which he set in 2013-14.

  • Ireland manager Martin O’Neill returns to the TV3 studio for coverage of Manchester City v Real Madrid in the first of this season’s UEFA Champions League semi-finals. The Ireland boss, who has just over a month to finalise his squad for UEFA Euro 2016, will be joined in studio by TV3 regular Graeme Souness and former Manchester City and Ireland captain Richard Dunne along with presenter Tommy Martin.  Kevin Kilbane and David McIntyre will be on commentary duty at the Etihad Stadium.

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Ryan Bailey

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