Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid – UEFA Champions League – Preview

Posted on by Sreya

The UEFA Champions League quarter finals get underway this midweek with the Madrid derby, as the Los Blancos visit the Vicente Calderon, in their bid to defend their Champions League title.

Team News & Formation

Diego Simeone’s side has a few injury concerns. Moya has been ruled out and Jans Oblak is expected to start in goal for the hosts. Although Mario Mandzukic has struggled with an ankle injury, he might start the crucial first leg, otherwise Fernando Torres or Antoinne Griezmann will lead the attack. Raul Garcia is listed doubtful due to a forearm injury, but will surely be on the bench, if not in the starting XI.

Real Madrid have a completely healthy squad, which should allow Carlo Ancelotti to field his first choice XI. Gareth Bale trained with his team mates, after missing the weekend league game.

While Atletico is likely to line up in a 4-4-2 with Koke, Tiago, Gabi and Arda Turan in the midfield, Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo will feature in the front three for Real Madrid, with the trio of Modric, Kroos and James Rodriguez in the midfield.

Key Team Statistics

Atletico have got the better of Real Madrid, every time the two Spanish giants have faced each other this season, winning four games and drawing twice. The fact that Atletico have kept a clean sheet in six of their last seven Champions League matches and three of their last home matches against Real Madrid will not allow the Real Madrid faithful any comfort.

On current form, Real Madrid definitely hold the edge over Atletico. The Los Blancos have recovered from their stuttering form, winning three consecutive games in the last few weeks, while Atletico only managed to draw against Malaga last weekend.

Key Players

Cristiano Ronaldo holds the key if Real have to break the deadlock Atletico has entangled them in this season. Gareth Bale’s prospective return to the lineup will also aid the Portuguese, as the Atletico defenders will have to concentrate equally, on either flank. The centre-half pairing of Pepe and Sergio Ramos will be crucial in order to avoid goals, more so if Mandzukic starts up front. The Croatian offers much more direct threat than Fernando Torres (who struggled against Malaga) and Simeone will hope his first-choice striker is fit and raring to go, come Tuesday evening.

Free Prediction

In spite of Atletico’s excellent results against Real this season, current form may factor in to give a result of 0-0 in the first leg of this UEFA Champions League quarter final tie.

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