This weekend it’s the big one as Madrid rivals Real and Atletico lock horns in Milan to decide who will be crowned winner of the Champions League. In a game that mirrors the 2014 final, Diego Simeone’s men will be looking to exact revenge after a late Sergio Ramos equaliser and extra time winner from Gareth Bale broke Atleti hearts in the Estádio da Luz two years ago.
With Real manager Zinedine Zidane adjusting well to the learning curve of managing unarguably the most successful team in world football, his side are at odds of 7/5 at the time of writing going into Saturday’s tie, according to http://extra.bet365.com/news/en/football/la-liga and a win at the San Siro would make it their eleventh European Cup triumph after completing ‘La Decima’ two years ago.
Their opponents Atletico just like Real themselves, ran rivals Barcelona very close to the Primera Division title this season but with an arguably bigger piece of silverware at stake this weekend, tensions are bound to run high between these two Madrid clubs.
Can Atletico stop Real?
Simone’s burgeoning Atleti side have once again proven they’re made of sterner stuff this season. In a UCL semi-final tie they were expected to lose against a Bayern Munich side with arguably a more decorated roster, Atletico played to their strengths and duly knocked out Pep Guardiola’s side in the Spaniard’s last season at the club.
Whilst usually lauded for their abilities in more mechanical aspects of football i.e. set pieces, little-known Spanish youngster Saul Niguez scored arguably the goal of the tournament with this beautiful solo run who effortlessly glided his way through the Bayern defence on the route to goal in the first leg.
As expected, Atletico’s return trip to the Allianz Arena in the second leg was met with lengthy spells of pressure from Robert Lewandowski and co but alas a strong rear-guard containing Uruguay international Diego Godin was able to hang on with a solitary away goal from Antoine Griezmann proving to be the telling difference.
Real Madrid: Defender Raphael Varane is arguably Los Galactico’s biggest miss going into this weekend’s tie. The Frenchman sustained a hamstring strain this month and will be out for this Saturday’s Champions League final clash. James Rodriguez and Alvaro Arbeloa are also carrying knocks this week but are expected to be fit for this weekend.
Atletico Madrid: Atleti are practically injury free going into their second Champions League final appearance in three years with just Spanish right back Jesus Gamez a doubt for the game.