We are heading towards another Madrid derby in quarter-final round of Champions League, and the fixture Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid UCL quarter-final will take it all!! Last time they meet each other in the same competition is in the final last year played in Lisbon. Real Madrid won the match 4-1 & claimed the UEFA Champions league 10times, hence achieved the much awaited La Décima. After that Real played 6times with Atlético in 3 different competitions & didn’t manage to win single of them. Atlético Madrid came top of Real Madrid in every match they played after the last year UCL final & eventually won the Supercopa de España, knock them out from early stages of Copa Del Rey & also handed them a humiliating defeat of 4-0 in their last meeting at Vicente Calderón in La Liga.
Madrid Derby was one sided fixture once, but arrival of Diego Simone changes the complexion of this derby. After 13 years they beat Real Madrid in Santiago Bernabéu in the Copa Del Rey, 2013. After that it becomes one of the most challenging, tensed, unpredictable & attractive fixture for the viewers.
Both teams are not at their best form this year so far. After winning 22 matches on a row, Real Madrid suffers their first defeat against Valencia this year. Then manages only 10 points out of 21 in la liga &through to the UCL quarter final round after a horrible performance against FC Schalke at Bernabeu, which has been heavily criticized by pundits & fans. Atlético Madrid earned only 12 points out of 21 in la liga, knocked out from Copa Del Rey & enters the quarter-final round after penalty shoot-out against Bayer Leverkusen. But comparatively Atlético is doing better than Real Madrid this year.
Now the question is can Los Blanco’s overcame Atlético’s challenge this time or Simone’s men will have the last laugh. Discussing the ways which Real needs to do to beat their local rival.
Won the midfield battle & unsettling Koke
Midfield battle will be the key in this fixture. Obviously Luca Modric & Tony Kross are the main figure in the midfield along with Isco& James, they need to capitalize & make the most of chances there. Atletico is always strong, they will try to push little bit, making foul when needed, unsettle the tempo of the game. So Los Blancos need to be careful & focused on closing the gaps, tracking the ball, snatch the ball from opponents &delivered them in attacking third quickly.
Koke will be instrumental figure in Atletico’s mid; he literally set the tempo of their game. His absence was one of the reasons why they fall back in title race in La liga. Either Isco or James needs to mark him constantly, try to unsettle him without receiving a yellow card.
Avoid the dead ball Situation
Diego Simone’s men literally living on the dead ball, it’s been the story of their season. Their organization has been terrific in dead ball situations. In this season, 21 out of the 50 league goals have come from set pieces for them, more than twice as many as any other La Liga clubs. It’s almost impossible to win the aerial battle with them, so it’s better to concede as minimum as possible.
Change of tactics
It has been a same story in last few derbies, Real Madrid with lot of possession yet with less effective chances whereas Atleti like to press hard, sit back & waits, then attacking on the counter resulting positive result for Los Colchoneros. Atlético has very organized defence, so they are happy to play defensively all day, having less possession is never a problem for them. Real needs to widen the play as much as possible to create more gaps, need more fast passing & long balls. Real Madrid can try to give Atlético the dose of their own medicine, always a good option for fast counter attacking team. Now this is where Carlo Ancelotti needs to step up on the occasion & make some statements.
Defence & Goalkeeping
Defense& goalkeeping is the key to win the battle. The way Griezmann& Co. are performing, is a threat to opponent. Ramos & Pepe needs to be accurate in their defensive role. Unnecessary challenges, fouls, free kick needs to be avoided against this Atleti side. Dani Carvajal& Marcelo are those players who are involved so much in attacking, so they need to be careful, open flank will be suicidal for them. Ramos is one of the key figure, apart from defending Real Madrid expects distribution, long ball & header from him.
Iker Casillas recently is been criticized for his bad performance. A good performance from him can turn the game around. He needs come to life the moment when it requires most. Iker has been a reliable figure for Madrid in last 15years; he has saved this team so many occasions. Casillas needs to deliver once again.
This factor will play decisive role in this fixture. The trio of Bale, Benzema & Cristiano need to be at their very best. They have a very bad show against Atlético this year. But they have the capability of win the matches of their own & they needs to back in life in right time, right moment. Against the organized defence of Atleti, there will be very few chances, but BBC needs to be pitching perfect.
Now these are the factors we have to keep our eye on, in the most exciting match of the UCL quarter-final. Can Real Madrid overcome Atletico’s challenge this time?????? Let us know what you feel about the match also and like and share if you liked this article. Its Real Madrid facing of Atletico Madrid at Champions League quarter-final !!!