|UEFA Champions League 2013/14|
| Real Madrid
||vs|| Atlético Madrid
ScheduleSaturday, 24 May 2014 at 18:45 GMT / 19:45 UK / 00:15 IST
VenueEstádio da Luz (Lisbon)
Next Saturday, the Spanish capital city neighbours and all time rivals Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid will travel to Lisbon to measure forces for the UEFA Champions League final at Estádio da Luz.
After last weekend La Liga’s title celebrations, it is time for Atlético Madrid to get back to work and to prepare the Champions League final against Los Blancos. Diego Simeone’s boys put up a quality performance at Camp Nou last Saturday and even after the injury setbacks of Diego Costa and Arda Turan early in the match and Alexis’ goal, Atléti managed to get back into the game and grabbed the equalizer thanks to powerful header by Diego Godín in the beginning of the second half.
Next Saturday, Los Colchoneros will have the opportunity to continue their almost flawless campaign at the UEFA competitions this season by robbing their rivals and neighbours of Real Madrid of the opportunity of winning La Decima, the tenth Champions League/European Cup in their history.
Forty years after their first Champions League final, which they lost to Bayern Munich on the replay match, Atlético Madrid return to the ultimate football stage hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself, which would allow them to end the season in great style.
For the match against Real Madrid, Diego “El Cholo” Simeone is not yet certain if he will be able to count on their main star Diego Costa and on the versatile Turkish midfielder Arda Turan, who have not worked with their colleagues during last Atlético’s training session, because of the injury they suffered against Barcelona last weekend.
As for Real Madrid, next Saturday’s match is the ultimate opportunity to finally grab La Decima and, in some way, to save what a few might consider a poor season, spent entirely trailing behind their biggest rivals at Liga BBVA’s table with only the Copa del Rey on their bags.
Last weekend, Real Madrid slammed a frail Espanyol side at Santiago Bernabéu and ended the season with the win their supporters were demanding after Los Blancos’ poor performances at Nuevo José Zorrilla and at Los Balaídos against Celta de Vigo. The 3-1 win might serve as a tonic for next Saturday’s final against an overwhelmed Atlético side, who has been working their brains out throughout the entire season.
For the match against Atléti, Real Madrid’s head coach, Carlo Ancelotti, is not yet certain if will be able to rely on Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, Benzema, Di Maria, and Varane, who spent the team’s last training session in the gym recovering from their respective injuries. On the other hand, the Italian manager already knows that he will not be able to count on one of his most important midfielder, Xabi Alonso, due to suspension.
Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid never went head-to-head on a UEFA Champions League final, although this season they have played against each other four times, two for La Liga and other two for the Copa del Rey. Los Blancos were stronger at the Spanish cup games but failed to defeat Atléti on both La Liga’s matches. Next Saturday, regardless of what has happened so far this season, both teams will have to start from scratch and will certainly provide supporters with a memorable match, for which, due to their consistency, attitude and inner strength, Atlético might be considered slightly favourites.
Stats: W-8 L-1 D-1
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Stats: W-7 L-0 D-3
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Real Madrid (4-3-3) – Casillas - Carvajal - Pepe - Sergio Ramos - Coentrão - Modric - Isco - Bale - Di Maria - Ronaldo - Benzema
Atlético Madrid (4-4-2) – Courtois - Juanfran - Miranda - Godín - Filipe Luis - Tiago - Gabi - Koke - Raúl Garcia - David Villa - Diego Costa
Real Madrid 0 Atlético Madrid 1