14th April 2015, 19:00 GMT
Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid
The Champions League returns to action Tuesday night and local rivals Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid begin proceedings in the quarter-final stage of the tournament. Both teams will look to win the tie over two legs in search of a semi-final spot as Real Madrid look to defend the title while Atletico Madrid will look to dethrone their neighbours. Real Madrid have had a good run in the Champions League so far, winning seven of the eight games they have played. However, the only defeat they suffered was at home against Schalke and the 4-3 defeat nearly saw them exiting the tournament in the round-of-16. Atletico will be thirsty to avenge last seasona s defeat in the final at the hands of Real Madrid and they will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run against a Los Blancosa this season to seven consecutive games.
Team News and Tactics
If anyone knows how to beat Real Madrid without compromising on their identity, it is Diego Simeonea s Atletico Madrid. Over the last two seasons, Atletico Madrid have edged past Real Madrid on majority occasions and on Tuesday, the home side will want to do the same. The last time Real visited Atletico, they were thrashed 4-0 and the home side hardly allowed the away side to come near their goal. Expect a similar stand from Atleticoa s defence on Tuesday as the defenders will defend as a unit and will be compact and aggressive while choosing to not keep the possession for a long time. Simeonea s side will allow Real Madrid to come forward and then wait for the opportunity of a counter-attack. If Atletico grab the early lead, expect them to sit back and defend for the rest of the game.
There is good news for Simeone on the injury front as Mandzukic has recovered and returned to training and is expected to start alongside Griezmann. Also back from injury is midfielder Raul Garcia after recovering from a fractured arm, though the Spaniard is not expected to feature in the starting 11. Deputy keeper Jan Oblak will start the game on Tuesday and defender Diego Godin, who missed the last two La Liga games with a hamstring issue, is expected to return to the starting line-up on Tuesday.
Probable Line-Up (4-4-2): Oblak; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Siqueira; Turan, Gabi, Tiago, Koke; Griezmann, Mandzukic;
Real Madrid have already been beaten twice in the league at the hands of Atletico and eliminated from the Copa Del Rey by the local rivals. Revenge might be on the cards as Real Madrid will be hoping to beat Atletico over two legs in the quarter-final to maintain their status as European champions. Ancelotti has suggested that Los Blancos will be looking for a draw at the Atletico turf in order to have an upper hand in the return leg that will be played at the Bernabeu next week. A draw will benefit Real Madrid and if they are able to score an away goal, it will be more advantageous. Real Madrid will enjoy more possession and try their best to attack from the wings. It will not be an easy task to break the Atletico defence, but with the firepower Real Madrid have in their attack, they will try to score a goal or two.
Carlo Ancelotti enjoys a pleasant selection dilemma on Tuesday as after a long time he has a fully fit squad at disposal. Having rested a few key players over the weekend, Ancelotti will field a very strong starting line-up on Tuesday. Casillas is sure to start the game in the goal and Pepe will return to the starting line-up after getting some game time against Eibar on Saturday. Bale is fit and the Welshman will surely start the game alongside Benzema and Ronaldo. James Rodriguez is expected to start ahead of Isco.
Probable Line-Up (4-3-3): Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos, James; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo;
Player to watch out for
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Ronaldo has been in sublime form and the forward has scored seven goals in the last three games. His record with Atletico Madrid stands at 15 goals in all competitions. Having reached the 300 goals mark wearing the Real Madrid kit, Ronaldo will be looking to extend that tally by a scoring a goal or two at the Calderon.
Atletico Madrid 1-1 Real Madrid
That Atletico will pose some serious problems for Real at the Calderon is an obvious fact. However, in a make or break situation like this, Ancelotti will do his best to make sure that Real Madrid dona t see defeat. Real Madrid will look to earn a draw and not many goals will be scored in the game.