All to play for as Real Madrid entertain Atletico, Juventus take slight advantage to Monaco

After a scoreless draw in the first leg, it is still very much anyone’s game as reigning champions Real Madrid entertain city rivals Atletico Madrid with a spot in the semi-finals up for grabs.

Despite not scoring an away goal, 2014 winners Real Madrid are favourites to get the job done over Diego Simeone’s side but if Atletico manage an early goal at the Bernabeu, then Real’s task of securing an 11th European Cup will become so much harder.

Gareth Bale's misses Real's best chance as Atletico hold them to a 0-0 draw image:

Atletico’s Jan Oblak was in top form during the 0-0 draw in the first leg

As he prepares for an eight clash with their rivals this season, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is very much aware this will be a tough game and believes his side are very much motivated to reach the semis for a fifth straight season.

This match shouldn’t be more difficult than the last – we are playing at home with the chance of reaching the semi-finals,” said the Italian.

“Atletico are very strong, one of the best teams in the world in defence, so we have to do what we did in the first half at their stadium. We want to play well from the first minute until the last.

“It’s an important match for the club, the fans and the players; we have the opportunity to play in another final. The whole squad deserves to play because they are all motivated and in good shape.”

Atletico gaffer Diego Simeone knows his side will need to keep up their good defensive record in order to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, as they seek just a fifth semi-final.

“We have been doing well at the back of late,” said the 44-year-old.

“We have great players in defensive positions and I have a problem deciding which ones are better suited for each match. We have players who can keep us safe at the back and attack if possible.

“We want to savour and enjoy more nights like these because they don’t come around often. There is no pressure on these teams, but there is responsibility.

Garteh Bale was forced off agter just four minutes in Real's win over Malaga at the weekend image:

Gareth Bale was forced off after just four minutes in Real’s win over Malaga at the weekend

Team News

Real Madrid are missing winger Gareth Bale to a calf problem and are also set to be without striker Karim Benzema, who is struggling with a knee injury.

Midfielder Luka Modric is also out of the game with a knee injury and Real Madrid are also without the suspended left-back Marcelo.

Atletico striker Mario Mandzukic will face a late fitness test on an ankle injury, while Mario Suarez is their only definite absentee through suspension.

Leave a comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s