No Real edge for new Madrid semi-final showdown - Zidane
May 03 2017 by Dustin Murphy
Real Madrid welcome Atletico Madrid for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday hoping to do something that has been beyond the reigning 11-time European champions for six decades.
Atletico, beaten in last season's final by Real, rarely threatened and now have it all to do at the Vicente Calderon next Wednesday night.
When it comes to the Champions League, Real Madrid are completely dominant over Atleti.
Real Madrid got the better of Atletico Madrid when the teams crossed paths in all the last three Champions League matches. And in the Champions League on the way to the Madrid derby, this spring passed Bayer 4: 2, 0: 0 and Lester 1: 0, 1: 1. Key for Los Blancos is their game in hand, to be played at Celta Vigo in the last week of term, but they are of course under pressure to match or better Barca's results until that point. "Whoever the rival, it would be the same reason to win".
The build-up of both teams is different, the expectation of the crowd of the scoreline in any given match is different and, perhaps most notably, the off-the-ball work by each of these two stars is different.
It is the latest landmark to be reached by the four-time Ballon d'Or victor in Europe's premier competition, following a five-goal haul over two legs against Bayern Munich in the previous round.
With only four teams left in the tournament, the Champions League has now reached a stage in which heartbreak is nearly at its strongest. It will be their 12th semi-final appearance in total, also a record, one more than Barcelona. This is the fourth time that Real Madrid is trying to beat Atletico Madrid in the field.
"They always gives us a hard game".
"Before every game there is the usual tension you have due to the responsibility we have at the club, with these fans", Simeone said.
Real Madrid is now tied with its biggest 1 rival, Barcelona, for first in the La Liga table at 81 points; Atletico is third with 71.
Atletico Madrid's Kevin Gameiro reacts after scoring a goal in the 5-0 win over Las Palmas last weekend.
Diego Simeone will therefore be forced into a defensive reshuffle with Stefan Savic, a centre-back by trade, moved to right-back with Lucas Hernandez partnering Diego Godin at the heart of the defence.
He says he is "already clear" on who is going to be in his starting XI, as he tries to solve a problem at right-back in the absence of Juanfran, and that would imply he has a clear idea to his plan, too. Also apart from the seven times they've won a match after the 81st minute, they have salvaged two draws from losing position in the same period that takes the tally to 9 - a quarter of a season.