Copa del Rey: Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid preview, analysis and prediction

Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid preview, analysis and prediction of the Copa del Rey semifinal second leg. Real lead 3-0 from the first leg

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Copa del Rey: Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid preview. The second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal between Atletico and Real will be played tonight. Real have a big 3-0 advantage from the first leg, but a derby is always a derby. The match itself will be close in a very hostile atmosphere for Real at the Vicente Calderon stadium packed in every seat. The Atletico fans will push the holders in a desperate comeback from 3-0.

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The first leg was a big disappointment for the Colchoneros who got crushed by Ancelotti’s side 3-0. It was a big win for Real which have already booked their place in the final that will probably be against Barcelona, just like 2 years ago. They will have to survive tonight and it won’t be a walk in the park as Atletico never give up, especially in the week that started with the defeat at the Bernabeu and continued with the unexpected loss to Almeria. This can can also be seen as the preview of the Liga match scheduled for the 2nd of March at the Santiago Bernabeu that will probably decide the title race in Spain. In any case this will be a game to watch as the best of the Liga will be on the pitch tonight, except for the Barca players.

Atletico Madrid. Simeone will try to come back from 3-0 down without his two main strikers, Villa is injured and Diego Costa is suspended. So Raul Garcia will play as lone striker in the 4-2-3-1 formation with Sosa, Diego and Rodriguez in support as Adrian will sit on the bench once again. Koke and Suarez will play in midfield, Alderweireld and Miranda will be the central defence partnership.

Real Madrid. They have a 3 goal cushion, but Ancelotti will not want to give any hope to Atletico by fielding his second choice team, so he will only rotate a few players. Cristiano Ronaldo is suspended in the Liga so he should start in attack alongside Benzema and Bale. Varane and Coentrao will start in defence with Casillas in goal. Modric should get to rest tonight.

Prediction: This should be a very physical game and a difficult one to call. Atletico will push forwards to try and recover their 3 goal deficit and Real can hit on the counter attack. The Merengues are slightly favourite, but it could also end with a goalscoring draw.


Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid Starting line-ups

ATLETICO MADRID (4-2-3-1): Aranzubia; Manquillo, Miranda, Alderweireld, Insua; Koke, M. Suarez; Sosa, Diego, C. Rodriguez; R. Garcia. Subs: Bono, Godin, Juanfran, Arda Turan, Gabi, Adrian, R. Mesa. Manager: Simeone

REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Casillas; Arbeloa, Varane, Pepe, F. Coentrao; Modric, Xabi Alonso, Di Maria; Bale, Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo. Subs: Diego Lopez, Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Casemiro, Illaramendi, Jesè, Morata. Manager: Ancelotti

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(Giovanni Spinazzola, translated by Paul Sassoon)