Atlético Madrid will tonight face off with city rivals for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final game at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid.
Atlético coach Diego Simeone will be hoping for a miracle to overturn their 3-0 deficit.
In Champions League history, no team has ever overturned a two-goal first-leg loss in the semis and Atlético will hope to be the first after Monaco failed last night.
Atlético Madrid are yet to record a defeat in all their five European Cup semi-finals appearances at home grounds (W4 D1).
Speaking at a pre-match press conference yesterday, Diego Simeone admitted that task of overturning the result was difficult however, he expressed hope in his men’s ability to cause an upset in the Madrid camp..
“We believe in ourselves and our weapons. We won’t change for this game. We know what we’re capable of. I have full confidence in my players and I’m sure we’ll do things well. We’ll defend well, go from minute to minute and look to create chances. The Madrid squad might well be the best in the world, alongside Barcelona and Bayern.” – he said
“We’re fighting at a stage where we’re proud to be: the semis of the Champions League. The only side that haven’t been able to rest players in the league beforehand is us. We have our weapons, we’ll try to do something that’s going to be very difficult but we won’t give up until the ref blows the final whistle.” he added.
Atlético will face the Los Blancos without Fernández and Vrsaljko due to knee injuries. Juanfran (match fitness), Giménez (match fitness) maybe unavailable.
Zinedine Zidane, coach for Real Madrid has said that he would not play a totally different game from their first leg encounter.
He further added that tonight’s clash will help affirm the believe the fans have in the club
“Atlético will try to stop us doing our thing – that’s their game. We’ll try to continue doing what we do, the thing that’s brought us here. Nothing will change in that sense. It’s the business end of the season where everything is up from grabs, and this club loves to be in these situations. Every game is a final and tomorrow is one. We’re going to play our game – we can’t do anything else.”
“This club’s history is something you can’t shy away from; on the contrary, it helps us prepare for big occasions. We and our fans know this is a big club but then we have to show it too.”
Carvajal and Bale are unavailable for selection due to hamstring) and calf injuries respectively. Nacho has been tipped to replace Carvajal at the defense.
Atlético Madrid, who are placed third on the LaLiga table, earned a narrow (1-0) win over Eibar at home over the weekend.
In their last five matches in all competitions, Diego Simeone’s men have snatched 3 wins and recorded 2 loses. Out of those five games, they have found the net 7 times and conceded 3 goals.
Atlético Madrid must get at least, 4 unanswered goals to qualify to meet Juventus at Cardiff for the grand final.
Real Madrid, with an outstanding match with Celta Vigo, are placed second on the LaLiga table. Over the weekend they secured a convincing (0-4) win against Granada.
In their last five games in all competitions, Real Madrid has scored 17 goals and conceded 6 goals after 4 wins and 1 loss.
Real Madrid must do well to get at least a goal to further guarantee their place at the final with Italian side Juventus.
Atlético Madrid (4-4-2): Oblak; Juanfran, Godín, Savić, Filipe Luís; Koke, Gabi, Ñíguez, Carrasco; Griezmann, Gameiro
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Navas; Nacho, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modrić; Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Date: Wednesday, May 10th, 2017
Kick off: 18:45GMT
Venue: Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid
Referee:Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey)
TV Info: BT Sport 2. Fox Sports 1.
How to watch
Credit: Jeffrey Nyabor||233livenews.com|Ghana