What: Spanish Copa del Rey Semi-final – Second-leg
Who: Atletico Madrid (0) vs Real Madrid (3) (First-leg score in brackets)
When: Tuesday 11th February, 2014, at 20:00 UK Time
Where: Vicente Calderon, Madrid, Spain

Continue Working

The past few days have undoubtedly been Atletico Madrid’s worst since the start of the 2013/14 season. Having endured a 3-0 loss to cross-town rivals Real Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final, Los Colchoneros lost their one-week league leadership with a 2-0 away loss to Almeria, in a game that saw the sending off of goalkeeper Dani Aranzubia. Eager to erase these last two results, Diego Simeone and his team will have to overturn a vast 3-0 deficit at the Vicente Calderon should they want to have any hope of defending their cup crown.

The former Argentina man refused to make excuse for himself and his side against Almeria, and believes that the continuation of the team’s efforts will be the only way forward for the club.

“Our opponents played their game. In the first half we could have done better, create some chances, but these things happen in football, sometimes you win, sometimes you draw and sometimes you lose. We do not seek excuses, or blame the referees, or the wind, or the ball. We lost, our opponents did a great job and for that we congratulate them. The only way we know to stay on this path is by working, and we will do that", declared Simeone.

Crucial Week

What was a bad week for Atletico Madrid certainly was an excellent one for Real Madrid. Having taken a big step towards the Copa del Rey final by dispatching the Mattress Makers on Wednesday night, Los Blancos’ 4-2 win over Villarreal coupled with Atletico Madrid’s loss to Almeria entitled Carlo Ancelotti’s men to join their Madrid derby rivals at the top of the league table. With a healthy lead going into this tie and Atletico Madrid themselves missing a key number of players, the nine-time Champions League winners are enjoying their football at the moment.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence as a result of a three-match suspension was quickly forgotten as Gareth Bale and Jese were marvelous against the Yellow Submarine at the weekend. Despite commanding a good lead heading into the cup second leg, Luka Modric still believes that there is work to be done at the Vicente Calderon.

“It’s not decided [the tie]. We have to play like the tie is at 0-0. We need to play like we did in the first leg. We have to start out confident from the start and keep Atletico from playing their football. We have to score a goal there”, commented the in-form midfielder.

Real Madrid have won their last seven games at Atletico Madrid, but most of these games have seen slender wins for the Merengues.

mobile ad

Recent form

Atletico Madrid:
Atletico Madrid 4-0 Real Sociedad (02/02; La Liga)
Real Madrid 3-0 Atletico Madrid (05/02; Copa del Rey)
Almeria 2-0 Atletico Madrid (08/02; La Liga)

Real Madrid:
Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Real Madrid (02/02; La Liga)
Real Madrid 3-0 Atletico Madrid (05/02; Copa del Rey)
Real Madrid 4-2 Villarreal (08/02; La Liga)

Key absences

Atletico Madrid: Filipe Luis; Tiago; David Villa (doubt); Thibaut Courtois (doubt); Diego Costa (suspended)

Real Madrid: Sami Khedira 

Players to watch

Atletico Madrid – Adrian Lopez: With David Villa a huge doubt for this one and Diego Costa missing through suspension, the 2012 Europa League winner will surely see playing time as his team prepare to turn things around, knowing that his opponents are yet to concede in this competition.

Real Madrid – Cristiano Ronaldo: The Portugal captain missed the first of three league games as a result of a suspension, but will come back into the fray for this cup match. While he was not missed at the weekend, he will need to remind everyone that he still rules the roost at Real Madrid.

Match Prediction

It is amazing to see just how things can change in the space of several days. Atletico Madrid have their backs against the wall now after they were favourites to go through ahead of the semi-final. Real Madrid will not be shy of attacking given their big lead, and should get the win once again and go on to the final.

Betting on Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid? Make sure you visit Inside Bet first!

mobile ad