Real Madrid, Atletico Begin Fight For UCL Final Ticket
Real Madrid are putting plans together in an attempt to beat Atletico in the Champions League for the fourth straight time, as both sides face-off in the first leg of their semifinal contest that will hold on Tuesday night at the Bernabeu.
Real emerged victorious over their city rival in the final both in 2014 and 2016, and also in the quarterfinals in 2015.
However, the teams drew 1-1 when they met in a Spanish league match at the Bernabeu earlier this season, thus setting the stage for a potentially explosive clash on Tuesday.
For some analysts, the key factor that might decide this tie will be defense, and keeping the clean sheet at home.
Keeping the clean sheet is particularly tricky for coach Zinedine Zidane's players, because they have only had one clean sheet in the last 16 games, which is highly unusual even by Real Madrid’s standards.
For Atletico, things are far from rosy. Not only have they lost Vrsaljko and Juanfran due to injuries, but on Saturday they lost their makeshift right back - Jose Maria Gimenez.
Simeone must now figure out who will start as right back and how to adjust his system and tactics accordingly against the lethal attack of Real Madrid.
Just as Ronaldo will be the star man in the Real squad and would be saddled with leading the chase for goals, Antoine Griezmann, who is the top scorer for Atletico with 25 goals in all competitions, will be carrying high hopes, as he would look for revenge after missing a penalty kick in 2016 final against Real.