For the second-leg of the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Finals, Real Madrid will be hosting Atletico Madrid as they look to make it to the next round of the European Competition. Since I made a more in-depth preview for the first-leg, this one will be a short one and focusing on the lineups and what to expect at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid come into this game with some high hopes as they come after a 3-1 win against Malaga. Now, they need to put all their focus onto this upcoming game as they know very well how difficult it will be to beat Atletico Madrid. With that said, they play with the extra incentive of having this game in their own ground and that could end up proving to be a massive factor in how this game could end.
Even though Los Merengues are coming out of a win, they received some very bad news during the game as Gareth Bale and Luka Modric got injured. The Welshman will be out for the game and it still isn’t confirmed when he will be back while it seems as though Modric could be out for the rest of the season. This is particularly extremely bad news for the club as the Croatian has helped Real Madrid regain their form after he came back from an earlier long-term injury.
With all that said, Los Blancos are certainly able to come out with a win on the night as they have sufficient replacements for the injured players. We just need to hope that they are able to play with the same belief and determination that they had in the first-leg, especially during the first half of that game.
My Predicted Lineup:
Iker Casillas, Daniel Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao, Toni Kroos, Asier Illarramendi, Isco, James Rodriguez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Chicharito
I’m expecting this to be our lineup as we also wait on news about Karim Benzema’s fitness since he missed the game against Malaga due to injury. It seems like Asier Illarramendi will be the man to start next to Toni Kroos with the absence of Modric.
Atletico Madrid come into this game after getting three points in their 2-1 win against Deportivo La Coruna. Now, their focus is on the UEFA Champions League and they play against an opponent that has not been able to beat them in the past seven games! Their morale will be on an extreme high and they are more than prepared to show the world exactly what it is that they are capable of on the night.
It seems like Mario Mandzukic will be absent for the game with an ankle injury but they have gotten a really strong replacement in Fernando Torres, who has caused havoc for Real Madrid the last time that he played against them. With that said, Atletico Madrid still need to be cautious; Real Madrid are a team that can surprise anyone and the fact that they have their injuries should not be a reason for Atletico to think that this game will be any easier.
Diego Simeone is someone with enough experience to know that he should not underestimate the hosts and he is more than capable of fielding the right team with the correct mentality to come out with a favorable result. Simeone could be the decisive factor for Atletico Madrid on the night just like he has been so many times in the past.
My Predicted Lineup:
Jan Oblak, Juanfran, Joao Miranda, Deigo Godin, Jesus Gamez, Arda Turan, Mario Suarez, Gabi, Koke, Antoine Griezmann, and Fernando Torres I’m not predicting many changes to the team that drew 0-0 against Real Madrid last week other than Torres starting ahead of Mandzukic. The team did well, especially in defense, and therefore it may be foolish for Simeone to make any major changes to that squad.
What are your predictions for the upcoming match?