Atletico seek Real revenge in quarter final
AFP · 13 Apr 2015, 09:00
Published: 13 Apr 2015 09:00 GMT+02:00
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Real took the spoils in Lisbon last May as Sergio Ramos's stoppage time header denied Atletico their first ever European Cup and sent the game into extra time when Los Blancos romped to a 4-1 win.
However, the tables have been turned this season as Atletico have won four and drawn two of the six meetings so far this season.
That run has included two aggregate victories over two legs in the Spanish Supercup and the Copa del Rey.
Yet, it was their last encounter in La Liga in February that was the most embarrassing for Real as Atletico romped to their biggest victory in a Madrid derby for 28 years in a 4-0 rout.
"The last result against Atletico is a motivating factor for us," said Real boss Carlo Ancelotti.
"It will be a different game, but difficult as it always is against Atletico.
"We come into the game in good form, we are motivated and we will give everything we have.
"I don't have any doubt that it will be an intense game.
"That will be an important component of the game, but there will also be others that we need to utilise."
However, unlike that most recent meeting at the Vicente Calderon when they were without five first-team regulars, Real are at full strength for the first time in five months.
James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos return from suspension after missing Saturday's 3-0 win over Eibar which moved Real back to within two points of Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale returned to training on Sunday and is expected to fit to start.
Atletico have received a huge injury boost of their own with the news that Mario Mandzukic will be available after overcoming an ankle problem which kept him out of their last two games.
The Croatian has scored 20 goals since signing from Bayern Munich last summer, including two in three games against Madrid at the Calderon.
Raul Garcia is also expected to recover from an elbow problem meaning Diego Simeone will also have a fully-fit squad to choose from.
However, the Argentine has a number of key decisions to make, most notably in goal where the in-form Jan Oblak kept his place ahead of the fit again Miguel Angel Moya for Saturday's 2-2 draw at Malaga and in central defence where Jose Maria Gimenez and Miranda will battle it out to partner Diego Godin.
The draw at Malaga extended Atletico's unbeaten run in all competitions to eight games, albeit with four draws along the way.
Most encouragingly for Simeone's men is the return to goalscoring form of Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman scored twice at La Rosaleda to take his tally over the last three games to four and move one ahead of Mandzukic at Atletico's top scorer this season.