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UEFA Champions League

  • 24 May 2014
  • • 19:45
  • • Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz), Lisboa
  • Referee: B. Kuipers
  • • Attendance: 60976
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Ladbrokes PaddyPower WilliamHill Tipico
Real Madrid 2.10 2.15 2.10 2.10
Draw 3.30 3.25 3.20 3.30
Atlético Madrid 3.80 3.75 3.80 3.80
Real Madrid - Atletico Madrid Preview: Costa faces fitness battle as Liga champions meet Decima dreamers

Real Madrid - Atletico Madrid Preview: Costa faces fitness battle as Liga champions meet Decima dreamers

RMAD v ATMAD

Atletico Madrid stand on the brink of an unlikely double as they prepare to take on city rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

Few would have predicted Atleti's first Liga title since 1996 at the beginning of the season, but Diego Simeone's men made sure of the trophy with a 1-1 draw against eventual runners-up Barcelona at Camp Nou on Saturday.

And the Vicente Calderon outfit have backed that up with equally impressive displays in Europe's elite club competition, beating Chelsea in the semi-finals to reach the Lisbon showpiece, while Real overcame defending champions Bayern Munich in emphatic fashion.

However, talk in the build-up to this weekend's mouthwatering Madrid derby has been dominated by the fitness and availability of both clubs' star names.

Diego Costa was left in tears after suffering a hamstring strain in the draw at Barca, and has reportedly travelled to Serbia for specialist treatment on the injury - a desperate bid to be in contention for the biggest match of his career.

As the joint-third top goalscorer in the competition, Costa's absence would come as a huge blow to Atleti, especially as the tournament's leading marksman Cristiano Ronaldo has been cleared to play for their opponents.
The Portuguese has been the star of Real's run to the Estadio da Luz showdown, scoring 16 goals in Europe this season, but missed his side's last two games because of a muscle injury sustained in a 1-1 draw at Real Valladolid earlier this month.

Despite the Costa setback, Simeone is confident his players are prepared for the challenge that lies ahead.
"From the strikers right through to the goalkeeper, the team is aware of how we need to play in order to succeed, in order to highlight our strengths and hide our weaknesses - because we do have weaknesses, we just hope not to show them," he is quoted as saying by uefa.com.

"It's a historic rivalry. It's great, both in terms of the matches themselves and the fact that in one city you have such a powerful team as Real Madrid and a battling team such as Atletico Madrid.

"Each team uses the tools it has at its disposal and it's a great rivalry, no matter which team you support."

This will be the first meeting between two teams from the same city in the history of European Cup and Champions League finals, and the duo from the Spanish capital have only met on one previous occasion in continental competition.

Atleti edged the league encounters between the sides this season - winning 1-0 at Santiago Bernabeu before a 2-2 draw on home soil - but Real claimed a 5-0 aggregate win when they met over two legs in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

Real boss Carlo Ancelotti will be forced to make do without the suspended Xabi Alonso, while Karim Benzema (hamstring) and Pepe (calf) are doubtful.

As well as Costa, Atleti - unbeaten in the tournament so far - have question marks over the fitness of Arda Turan (knee).

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Returns: Real Madrid £21.50 PaddyPower Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets
Returns: Draw £32.50 PaddyPower Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets
Returns: Atlético Madrid £38.00 WilliamHill William Hill: £25 in free bets
Team News
Available Squads
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
2Raphaël VaraneDefender
4Sergio RamosDefender
5Fabio CoentraoDefender
15Daniel CarvajalDefender
6Sami KhediraMidfielder
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
22Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
7Cristiano RonaldoStriker
9Karim BenzemaStriker
25Diego López RodríguezGoalkeeper
3PepeDefender
12MarceloDefender
17ArbeloaDefender
23IscoMidfielder
24Asier IllarramendiMidfielder
29MorataStriker
28Thibaut CourtoisGoalkeeper
2Diego GodínDefender
-Filipe LuisDefender
20JuanfranDefender
23MirandaDefender
5TiagoMidfielder
6KokeMidfielder
8Raúl GarcíaMidfielder
14GabiMidfielder
7David VillaStriker
-Diego CostaStriker
1Dani AranzubiaGoalkeeper
12Toby AlderweireldDefender
4Mario SuárezMidfielder
11Cristian RodríguezMidfielder
11José SosaMidfielder
22Diego RibasMidfielder
21AdriánStriker
Players to Watch
Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 4
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Real Madrid defender has matured into an unsung hero this season, rejecting the indiscipline of the past to attempt to lead his team to La Decima. Expect him to play a major part in proceedings.
David Villa
David Villa
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
With Diego Costa's fitness a continued doubt the onus will be on the veteran Villa to lead the line. He doesn't score goals like he used to, but he works incredibly hard - a vital attribute of Diego Simeone's side.
Prediction
Atletico Madrid are a side that continue to be underestimated but the power of the Decima may prove too strong. Expect Cristiano Ronaldo to be celebrating come full time.
Editor's Prediction

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