Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid: 5 factors that will determine the outcome
Here we go again. That might have been the first reaction of both Carlo Ancelotti and Diego Simeone as the draw came out for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid have met each other six times already this season in La Liga, Spanish Super Cup and in the Copa del Rey, with Real still seeking their first win over their fierce rivals.Atletico's defensive record at home is nothing short of spectacular, especially in Europe, and it remains to be seen whether they can shut out Real's attack for the fourth successive time at home this season. For all the things they have going for them, Simeone's side will know that they have never beaten Real and gone through in Europe. With Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Godin, Gabi, there are plenty of world-class players on offer from both sides in what promises to be a fascinating derby to decide who goes through to the final four.So who will take the upper hand from the first leg at the Vicente Calderon on Tuesday? Who will go through to the semi-finals of the Champions League?Here are five thing that will determine the outcome of this local derby with global repercussions.
#1 Can Atltico continue to keep Cristiano Ronaldo quiet?
Cristiano Ronaldo's goal scoring record this season has been simply ridiculous. He is one shy of a completing a half-century of goals for the season and has scored seven goals in his last three games. Yet his record against Tuesday's opponents this season is particularly great. He has scored just two goals in six games and one of them was from the penalty spot.
Neither of his goals were enough to help his side win and the Portuguese forward has at times been made to look like a kid who got lost in the market when up against Atlético. Whether it is by crowding him out on the flanks or cutting his supply line, Simeone's side have done a very good job of keeping him out of the game.
If they can do that in both legs, then their chances of progressing into the semi-finals increase exponentially as they will essentially be eliminating Real's single-biggest goal threat.