Leading UEFA Champions League team, Real Madrid will this night lock horns with local rivals and last year finalists, Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu for a place in Cardiff.
For many Real Madrid faithful, they would have preferred meeting their rivals in the finals, while for the Atletico Madrid faithful, it will be an opportunity to avenge last year’s loss and put an end to their Madrid-European curse.
But for the football world, the battle will see two great players against each other… and the question is…. “Will it be Ronaldo taking Real Madrid to the final in the quest for a record 12th title?” Or “Will it be the Frenchman Antoine Griezmann getting one over his nemesis, Ronaldo and sending Atletico Madrid to a third final in 6 years?”
Truth be told, Atletico Madrid have not had the best season so far as they languish in far third in La Liga but have been great in Europe, getting past their opponents with ease; while Real Madrid, being on the forefront on major competitions, have been blowing hot and cold in La liga but were the better team against Bayern Munich.
However, both Ronaldo and Griezmann being their team’s respective top scorers will hope to give their season an additional boost.
Team absentees: Real Madrid will be without Gareth Bale which will see either in-form Isco or James Rodriguez getting a starting berth.
Atletico Madrid have an injury headache of their own as Gimenez and Carasco are a likely doubt for the encounter.
Likely formations: Real Madrid will probably go with their traditional 4-3-3 while Atletico Madrid will probably go with 4-4-2.
Real Madrid – Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Kroos, Casemiro, Modric, Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Athletico Madrid –Oblak, Luis, Savic, Godin, Hernandez, Gabi, Koke, Saul, Thomas, Gameiro, Griezmann.
Written by Chineze Ogugua