What is it?

It’s the first leg of the Champions League semi-final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

When is it?

Tuesday May 2 – ie tonight. The second leg is next Wednesday.

What time is kick-off?

This one is a 19.45 BST start.

What TV channel is it on?

You can watch it on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 2 HD. Alternatively, you will be able to follow live updates here with JJ Bull, including team news, action and reaction.

What is the team news?

Real Madrid

Gareth Bale is expected to be out for around four months after suffering a recurrence of an ankle injury during his side’s 3-2 El Clasico defeat to Barcelona.

Zinedine Zidane is expected to choose between James Rodriguez, Marco Asensio and Isco as his replacement. James started in Real’s 2-1 win over Valencia and scored twice in the drubbing of Deportivo, but Isco is expected to get the nod.

Possible starting XI: (4-3-3) Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modrić; Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo.

Out: Bale (calf), Pepe (ribs)

Atletico Madrid

Atletico look like they will have defensive problems at the Bernabeu, with Jose Gimenez and Juanfran likely to miss out.

With Sime Vrsaljko already out, centre-half Gimenez was filling in at right-back for Juanfran against Las Palmas on Saturday when he was injured.

Without any right-back available, Diego Simeone could play Stefan Savic in the position and bring youngster Lucas Hernandez into the middle, although it is unlikely he would break up the Savic-Diego Godin partnership for such a big game.

Yannick Carrasco is a surprise inclusion in the squad, the right winger having recovered from a collarbone injury suffered in Atletico’s 1-0 defeat to Villarreal.

Possible starting XI: (4-4-2) Oblak; Hernández, Godín, Savić, Filipe Luís; Ñíguez, Koke, Gabi, Carrasco; Griezmann, Gameiro.

Out: Juanfran (hamstring), Giménez (adductor), Fernández (knee)

Doubtful: Vrsaljko (knee)

What are they saying?


Zinedine Zidane has insisted his side are not the favourites, describing the tie as “50-50”.

“We know each other very well,” said the Real Madrid coach. “The rivalry with Atleti hasn’t changed since I was a player. It’s a derby in the capital. It’s intense, but the rivalry remains the same.

“We need to do everything well tomorrow. If we do, then we’ll see. Getting to the semis means you’ve done great so far but this is a new game,” he added.

Diego Simeone, meanwhile, has put aside his tough nut image, admitting that he always feels “a bit scared before games.”

“I’m isolated from everything, and with the tension it’s normal,” said the Atletico manager. “You’ve got a lot of responsibility and that gets bigger and bigger. I feel it facing any side – irrespective of the match and opposition.

“They’ll come out strong as they always do at home. They can play in different systems with Isco, James, Asensio. They’ll try and hurt us from the off. We need to be strong and stay as cool as possible. It’ll be tight but hopefully we can take advantage of the spaces we create.”

What are the odds?

Real Madrid 3/4
Atletico Madrid 9/2
Draw 13/5

What’s our prediction?

Atletico will want to keep this one cagey, but Real have been leaky of late and the visitors will fancy their chances of grabbing a precious away goal on the counter.


Source: The Telegraph