first_imgBARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Real Madrid head to Manchester City for tomorrow’s first leg of their Champions League semi-final with dark clouds over Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. 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. Benzema is a bigger worry for the former France great. “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.” 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 league title. For Bale, Madrid have the “psychological” 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 are 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 their best. Kevin de Bruyne has been the inspiration 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 said.last_img read more

first_imgLegendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne said in London that he always enjoyed watching Anil Kumble bowl back in the day.Warne was speaking to India Today’s Rajdeep Sardesai on the sidelines of Aaj Tak Salaam Cricket 2017 . From what makes one a great spinner to whether today’s batsmen are using better legwork to play spin, Warne and Rajdeep chatted about a number of things.  ‘Who is your favourite spinner? If you had to choose one spinner, apart from yourself, in your XI, who would that be?’ Rajdeep asked Warne, to which the latter replied, ‘Oh I would never pick myself. Jesus there are so many good spinners out there.’  ‘I used to love watching Anil Kumble bowl, I used to really love watching Anil bowl, so I’d pick him’, Warne went on to say.  ‘NO PACERS IN MY XI’  When asked whether he would have one or two spinners in his team, Warne said he would only have spinners in his team.  ‘Yeah, yeah we don’t need them (pacers)’ Warne said before saying that he’d have Daniel Vettori, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Muttiah Muralitharan in his team. Other things that find a place on Shane Warne’s list of favourites include Garlic Butter Naan or Spagehtti Bolognese (food), golf (form of relaxation) and Australia (place to travel to).Earlier in the day, while speaking at the ‘Wow Warnie!’ session, the Aussie rated Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara as the best batsmen of his time. Later, he, along with Sourav Ganguly, recalled their cricketing days, especially the times they used to sledge each other on the field.advertisementWATCH.@ShaneWarne tells @sardesairajdeep what makes one a great spinner. All this & more #SalaamCricket17 – #ITFBLive India Today (@IndiaToday) May 31, 2017last_img read more