The Mystery of Real Madrid's 9 Days Rest Before Manchester City Tie

The Mystery of Real Madrid's 9 Days Rest Before Manchester City Tie

Isaac Darko
updated at April 2, 2024 at 6:07 AM
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  • Manchester City will face Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals next week
  • The defending Champions will play two games before facing Los Blancos in the first leg
  • The Spanish giants are expected not to play a match nine days before facing the Citizens

Manchester City's bid for a fifth Premier League title in six years suffered a setback with a goalless draw against Arsenal at home on Sunday.

Meanwhile, on the same day, Real Madrid further solidified their La Liga lead with a victory over Athletic Club at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Champions League, Carlo Ancelotti.
Pep Guardiola’s side will play two games before facing Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals. Photos by Angel Martinez/Michael Regan.
Source: Getty Images

The two powerhouses are set to face off in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday, April 9th, but their preparations for the highly anticipated match will be markedly different.

Why Real Madrid won't feature in La Liga next weekend

The Champions League showdown follows a rare weekend void of La Liga fixtures. Attention in Spain turns to the Copa del Rey final next weekend, as Athletic Club and Mallorca compete on Saturday, April 6th, at La Cartuja in Seville.

La Liga action resumes with matchday 31 on Friday, April 12th, with Real Madrid facing Mallorca the following day.

Carlo Ancelotti's side, who won the competition in 2022/23, were knocked out in the round of 16 by Atlético Madrid after extra time.

When do Manchester City play before facing Real Madrid?

In contrast, Manchester City face two pivotal Premier League matches before Carlo Ancelotti's side return to the pitch.

The current Champions League titleholders will host Aston Villa at the Etihad on Wednesday before journeying to London for a match against Crystal Palace on Saturday, just three days before their visit to the Spanish capital.

Following their draw with Arsenal, City now trail leaders Liverpool by three points and sits one point behind The Gunners with nine league matches remaining in the season, via Yahoo Sports.

Guardiola's remarks on City's schedule

Before City's draw against The Gunners, Guardiola expressed frustration over the disparity in preparation time provided by the fixture calendar compared to their upcoming European opponents. He emphasized Madrid's nine-day preparation period, stating via Football London:

"Nine days! They play this weekend and then not again until our game – while I am thinking, ‘Oh, just give me one more day!’ With one more day, the difference is significant – but there is no chance." Guardiola highlighted his desire for a fairer schedule, saying, "That’s why, when you ask me about changes to the calendar, I give my opinion – but forget about it."

Guardiola names Premier League favourites

Meanwhile, Sports Brief also reported that Guardiola has predicted which club could win the Premier League title this season following Manchester City's clash against Arsenal.

Speaking after his side's drab draw against the Gunners, the Spaniard claimed Liverpool are now in the driving seat to win the domestic crown.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)
Pep Guardiola