Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid: Preview, team news, form guide, match info, predicted lineups and score
There are some certainties in life, and Real Madrid facing Atletico Madrid in the Champions League knockout stages is one of them in the recent past. The two teams meeting in Europe has become a yearly affair with the game tonight being the fourth time in a row that they have faced each other in the Champions League.
Real Madrid have a healthy record against their neighbours in the recent past with this season's league meetings producing a 3-0 win for the Los Blancos at the Vicente Calderon and a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu. Tonight's game is expected to be a tactical one with Atletico Madrid aiming for an away goal and then shutting shop.
Diego Simeone knows that Real Madrid have not kept a clean sheet in their 16 matches and will look to try and counter attack against a faltering home defence. Zinedine Zidane's team must keep a clean sheet in the home leg to have an upper hand in the two-legged semi-final.
Real Madrid received a major boost for tonight's game as Raphael Varane is declared fit for the derby. He will partner Sergio Ramos in central defence to replace Nacho in the starting lineup. Gareth Bale will miss the game through injury which gives Zidane interesting choices in Isco and James Rodriguez to replace the Welshman.
Karim Benzema was limping against Valencia which was a huge scare for Los Blancos but the Frenchman trained yesterday and will start tonight.
For Atletico Madrid, the problems don't seem to end as a full blown defensive crisis has fallen upon them ahead of tonight's gigantic clash. Jose Gimenez, Sime Vrsaljko and Juanfran are all ruled out of the semi-final.
Gimenez was deputising for the injured Juanfran at right back but with both options gone, Lucas Hernandez will have to play in an unnatural full-back role. Yannick Carrasco has achieved a miraculous recovery and is fit and ready to start tonight's game.
The inter-city rivalry has been renewed on three previous occasions in the Champions League in the last three seasons with Real Madrid emerging victorious on all three encounters. Two wins came in the 2014 and 2016 final while the other came in the quarterfinals stage.
The last time these two sides met in the semi-final stage of the competition was back in the 1958/59 European Cup where Real Madrid emerged victorious and went on to win the coveted trophy.
This is Atletico Madrid's third semi-finals of the Champions League in the last four years whereas Real Madrid have qualified to the last four for a record seventh consecutive time. The Los Blancos are still unbeaten in the competition and have a stellar win record of 35 victories out of 41 at the Bernabeu. Since Diego Simeone took over, Atletico have kept 27 clean sheets in the Champions League whereas Real Madrid have kept 22 in the same time duration.
In the league, Real Madrid come into this game after a nervy 2-1 win against Valencia as a late Marcelo winner helped them to avoid dropping points in their bid for the league title. The Rojiblancos humbled Las Palmas 5-0 in their last game and will take confidence from a brilliant attacking performance.
Real Madrid: W-W-L-W-W
Atletico Madrid: W-L-W-D-W
Kick-off: 12.15 AM
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Where to watch it live?
The match will be telecast live on the Ten network and can also be watched live on the Sony Liv app, in India. You can also tune in to our extensive coverage of the Madrid derby for live commentary and updates.
Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Casemiro, Modric, Kroos, Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo
Atletico Madrid: Oblak, Hernandez, Godin, Savic, Luis, Gabi, Saul, Koke, Carrasco, Gameiro, Griezmann
Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid