Revenge on Atletico’s mind ahead of another Champions League Madrid derby

Los Rojiblancos will take on cross city rivals Real Madrid in first-leg of the semi-final on Tuesday


Afp May 01, 2017
PHOTO: AFP

PARIS: Revenge will be on the menu at the Santiago Bernabeu for Atletico Madrid and their feisty Argentine coach Diego Simeone, as the Los Rojiblancos face their cross city rivals Real Madrid in the first-leg of the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday.

Atletico will be desperate to banish the memories of gut-wrenching Champions League final defeats in 2014 and 2016 to their city rivals.

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They have lost Jose Maria Gimenez to a groin injury meaning three key defenders miss the short trip across town.

While Simeone's side have forged their reputation on a measly defence, they are in fine attacking form —a Kevin Gameiro double sealed a 5-0 rout over Las Palmas at the weekend.

But Zinedine Zidane's Real, hoping to become the first side to retain the trophy in the Champions League era, are formidable opponents at their stadium, where they earned a last-gasp winner Saturday to remain on track in a tight fight with Barcelona for La Liga.

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"With the fans behind us we are hard to beat here," match winner Marcelo said after a nervy 2-1 victory over Valencia.

Ronaldo opened the scoring against Valencia but also saw a penalty saved.

In their last Champions League outing, the prolific Ronaldo bagged a hat-trick in the quarter-final victory over Bayern Munich, taking his tournament tally above 100 goals and another record.

The Portuguese is likely to line up with James Rodriguez after the Colombian played in place of the injured Gareth Bale at the weekend.

"He played very well and did the job asked of him, as they all did. I'm very happy with his performance and with the performance of the team as a whole," Zidane said of the back-in-favour Rodriguez.

The return leg of the tie will take place at Vicente Calderón Stadium on May 10.

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