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Champions League 2016-17: 5 players who will decide the semi final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid

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02 May 2017, 10:23 IST
The Brazilian midfielder will be hoping to make things tough for the Atletico Madrid midfielders

Very few matches in the game of football can be termed greater than the Madrid derby, when cross-town rivals Real and Atletico lock horns. The two Spanish sides, who have been putting teams to swords with their performances in the season thus far, are set to meet in the UEFA Champions League semi-final.

It will be a battle between two great sides and between two managers who are looking to create history with their respective units.

While the focus remains on the cumulative abilities of the teams, some players remain more crucial to their respective sides and in this segment, we take a look at 5 players who will largely determine the course of the tie.

#5 Casemiro

While the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco, and Luka Modric continue to garner the limelight, owing to their contributions to the attack of this Real Madrid side, Casemiro has been termed as the foundation for the club’s success by man pundits of the game.

The Brazilian has been in a fine form thus far and will be hoping to dish out another master class when his side take on their cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid. It is perhaps his ability to break play with a mix of tackles, interceptions and block that has provided the requisite cover for the side’s defence.

His industry in the middle of the park has set free other resources in the team to concentrate on their attacking duties.

The fact that his side are currently plagued by injuries to critical players in the form of Pepe and Rafael Varane, Casemiro’s role in the side has become even more crucial in the games to come.

In Gabi and Saul Niguez, he has opponents who have shown their ability to take the game by the scruff of the neck and help their side dominate it and it’s a battle the combative Casemiro will relish.

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