Verdict: Home Win
Best Odds: 5/6
The second Madrid derby in less than a mouth bears huge importance for both teams as Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid lock horns in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal at Santiago Bernabeu, looking to earn a valuable advantage and get on a front foot in this highly-anticipated tie.
Real Madrid have recovered well from the El Clasico shock. Los Blancos notched back-to-back wins over Deportivo La Coruna and Valencia, respectively, to prover they will not back down in the race for the La Liga crown. Still. With a game in hand on their bitter rivals Barcelona, Zinedine Zidane’s men have been pushed down to second spot in the standings and will be under huge pressure until the end of the season. La Liga title race is something Real Madrid can’t afford to worry about at this particular moment as they face a daunting challenge in the Champions League. Reigning European champions face last year’s finalists in the semifinals of Europe’s elite club competition and are keen to continue their dominance over the neighbours when it comes to big games. Los Blancos have so far met their city rivals in the competition in each of the last four seasons, including the two finals from 2014 and 2014. Real Madrid emerged victorious on all three occasions and will be keen to extend their dominance. It will be easier said than done particularly since Zinedine Zidane will be without influential winger Gareth Bale for the clash. The Welshman could be replaced by in-form Isco, who bagged a goal and an assist in an outstanding performance against Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday.
Encouraging news for Real Madrid boss as defender Raphael Varane seems to have overcome his injury problem and is set to return to the fold.
On the other side, Gareth Bale’s calf injury will keep him in the treatment room together with defender Pepe.
Los Rojiblancos warmed up for arguably one of the most important matches this season in style as they came off from a 5-0 win at Las Palmas at the weekend. Diego Simeone has earned wide praise for all the good work he’s done with his team thus far, but the current season has been somewhat surprisingly disappointing for Atletico Madrid. Lack of consistency has cost the club their place in the title race as Atletico sit ten points adrift of the leading duo. The total of six defeats for a defensively organised side such as Atletico Madrid has been an underachievement and their latest slump against Villarreal at home ground, during the week, comes as the latest proof. When it comes to direct clashes with their city rivals, Atletico Madrid have managed to stand up to their more illustrious opponents on a number of occasions, but are winless in last three meeting and that is something Diego Simeone’s inconsistent side will have to overcome mentally if they want to go through to the final. Los Rojiblancos will be relying on their rock-solid defences which have allowed only three goals in Atletico’s last nine matches in all competitions. Diego Simeone’s men will be hoping to exploit Real Madrid’s poor defensive record and sneak in at least one away goal which could be a determining factor to the entire tie.
Diego Someone is facing a defensive challenge with Jorge Garcia, Joe Gimenez, Juanfran and Sime Vrsaljko all ruled out for the clash.
Yannick Ferreira Carrasco is injured as well and he is added to the list of unavailable players for the Tuesday’s fixture.
Key Factors to Consider
- Real Madrid are without a defeat over last three meetings with Atletico Madrid
- Los Blancos kept only one clean sheet in their last 16 matches in all competitions
- There have been over 2.5 goals in Real Madrid’s last six matches
- Atletico Madrid conceded only 2 goals in their last 9 matches
- Los Rojiblancos lost only one of their last 14 matches in all competitions
Games like these tend to go down the wire as you never know where the breaking point truly is. One moment of brilliance or an error can determine the entire match and we are definitely in for an intensely-contested match between two great rivals. Real Madrid hold a slight advantage and we will go bravely, despite their recent El Clasico loss.
Verdict: Home Win
Best Odds: 5/6
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!