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Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Preview: It’s Atletico’s time to go for the glory

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid,Uefa Champions League semifinals

Two Uefa Champions League final in last three seasons and both were cruel defeats for Atletico Madrid against their superior native rivals Real Madrid. It’s Atletico Madrid’s time to go for the glory, and remind the Madrid giants that there is another team in Madrid as well. Real Madrid will be vying to become the first team in Champions League history to retain the title, but Atletico’s need to prove their worth and go for their maiden success.

It’s perfect opportunity for Los Colchoneros to forget their past and look forward for a new beginning. to Altetico might have been unlucky in the past or Real may be superior on those two particular nights, but it’s not a final game, it’s a two leg match.

Los Blancos had advantage in the past to use their superior bench strength in 2014’s extra time final to pull 4-1 victory, and they were lucky to clinch their 11th Champions League trophy in 2016 on penalties, but Atletico can take a perfect revenge this season ending Real’s hope of retaining the title. They can rely on third time luck and ends Real dominance, although it will depend much on their performance on the field.

It’s not a game, which will be decided over a night, it’s a two leg game and it will be perfect test for Rojiblancos. They have the character and the strength, but they’ll need a little bit of luck as well, which hasn’t been on their side in the last two finals played between these two.

Diego Simeone always had injuries concern going into a big match, and this time it’s no different. He can’t play his best playing XI, due to thigh injury to the right-back Juanfran. Substitute defender Jose Jimenez is also ruled out for the match, but good news is doubtful Yannick Carrasco is expected to start. They still have their best 10 to start against the Real’s best 10, because Gareth Bale is missing from Los Blacos gala XI.

Gareth Bale’s calf injury has ruled out him for another 15 days, and he won’t be featuring in both leg of semifinals. It’s a blessing in disguise for Real Madrid’s manager Zinedine Zidane as he has been able to experiment with his fringe players and have been more successful with them than with his first team. Zidane won’t mind if James Rodriguez fills in his boot and give another brilliant performance for the Los Blancos.

Zidane knows how difficult it is to play against their city rivals as he said in his pre-match press conference. “Atletico always gives us a hard game. The strength they have is that they never give up, no matter what happens. They fight, battle, they know their strengths and use them as best they can. In the past four or five years they have been a very good side and that have improved every year. What happens in the past is in the past, we can’t rely on that now. The extra motivation comes it from being a Champions League semifinal.”

Meanwhile, Atletico’s coach Diego Simeone rubbishes any extra pressure to win against their old foes. In his pre-match press conference, Simeone said, “Before every game there is usual tension you have due to the responsibility we have at the club, with these fans. That keeps growing all the time, and I keep it with me whether we are playing Las Palmas, Real Madrid or Leganes. Actually, sometimes before games which might seem easier on paper, I’m more nervous about getting the players to do what we want”

On the opposite, Simeone is more relaxed this time knowing it’s a two leg game and they’ll be playing second leg at home. “I expect it to be a tight game, but we know how to take the advantage of the spaces they allow us. We know that the second game is at home for us, and an away goal is maybe more useful for them as they always play the same everywhere. I imagine a complex game, and whoever best positions the pieces will play better.”

How the Champions League tie is unfold is difficult to predict, but Real had the upper hand in domestic fixtures. They won the November fixture 3-0 at Vicente Calderon with Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick, and played a 1-1 draw at Santiago Bernabeu.

Atletico need to make the most of their chances in first leg to have an upper hand in second leg. They can’t rely on their home advantage as Simeone himself said, Real plays almost same everywhere. Vicente Calderon will be no different from Santiago Bernabeu, Simeone’s men will have to kill the match at Bernabeu itself.

 

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