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The French left back Gareth Clichy has emerged as a major doubt for the crunch Champions League match with Real Madrid in the midweek action for Manchester City.

The Premier league champions face a tough fight in order to qualify for the next stage of the competition. They have never qualified for the last 16 stage having been knocked out in the group stages last season as well.

They look set to be suffering the same fate this time around as well after starting the group in the worst possible fashion. They need to win the remaining two matches against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, but still could be eliminated from the competition.

City will be coming into this match on the back of the 5-0 win over Aston Villa, which has signalled the return of the Premier league champion form. As a result, Roberto Mancini will have a lot of reasons to be confident ahead of this match, but he will be without the services of the French defender Gael Clichy. He suffered an ankle injury during the Aston Villa match, which is likely to keep him out for quite a while. The City striker Sergio Aguero has said that they need to be confident of progressing to the next stage until it is mathematically impossible.

"We should never give up. Where there's a will, there's a way, right? Of course, it's harder now because we're not just relying on ourselves but also on the other teams' results. I think it's [the Madrid game] even more significant now than if we had been in a better position in the table. It may sound strange, but I firmly believe that. We must win this game," said Sergio Aguero to the official website of the club ahead of the match.