Manchester City struggle to stop the best clubs from scoring against them and their central defenders may be targeted in Friday's Champions League clash against the Spanish Champions Real Mar=drid, former England captain Wayne Rooney mentioned.

Pep Guardiola's City are going to meet Real after they registered a victory in the away leg of their last-16 tie 2-1 in March before Europe's elite club competition got suspended because of the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.

City to Meet Real

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Rooney, who won the competition with Manchester United in 2008, said City have their best opportunity yet to lift the trophy for the first time. "City may never have a better chance to win the Champions League," Rooney wrote in his column here for the Sunday Times.

"Sergio Ramos is suspended which is a huge loss to the Real defence and I think City will score. Whether they are solid enough at the back themselves is my only question. "Real will target their center-halves and it's a worry that this season every other (Premier League) 'Big Six' club beat City... This shows Guardiola's team can struggle to keep the best sides out."

Rooney said he expected Real to allow City to dominate possession and then aim to hit them on the counter. "I saw Zinedine Zidane do it in his first spell as Real coach when he played against Guardiola-style teams in big games, and it brought him successes," Rooney added.

"Yet my money is still on City. They don't have to chase the game. They don't have to score. They can even afford to lose 1-0 and go through, and in the first leg they surprised Madrid by sitting in themselves. "It was the first time I've seen Guardiola play like that and I've a feeling he'll do the same at the Etihad. It could be a game of cat-and-mouse."

(With agency inputs)