Real Madrid-Atletico Madrid Preview: City rivals set for Copa final showdown
Los Merengues will look to end a disappointing season on a high by clinching the cup against their cross-town neighbours, who last won in this derby in 1999
By Karthick Arvinth
Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane will miss the Copa del Rey final against Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu after suffering a knee injury in the 1-1 draw at Espanyol last weekend.
However, Alvaro Arbeloa (back), Sergio Ramos (hamstring), Marcelo (muscle tear) and Mesut Ozil (ankle) are all expected to be available after overcoming injuries, while Pepe could be recalled after being ostracised from the squad for publicly criticising boss Jose Mourinho.
Atletico midfielder Mario Suarez has recovered from a back problem and is set to return to the starting line-up in place of Tiago.
Coach Diego Simeone has no other injury concerns and could name a similar side to the one that lost 2-1 at home to Real in La Liga in April.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid are on a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions, winning four.
- Los Blancos are the only side to remain unbeaten at home across all competitions in Europe's top five leagues this season (W23, D5).
- Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured, right) has scored eight goals in as many appearances for Real against Atletico Madrid.
- Real have scored in 19 consecutive Copa del Rey games stretching back to January 2011.
- The nine-time Copa del Rey winners are on a 25-match winless run against Real in all competitions stretching back to October 1999.
- Eight of Atletico's nine cup triumphs were secured at the Santiago Bernabeu.
- Diego Costa is the Copa del Rey's top scorer this season with seven goals.
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Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 3-1 Atletico Madrid
- 21.16 %
Real Madrid CF 2-1 Atletico Madrid
- 12.02 %
Real Madrid CF 1-2 Atletico Madrid
- 10.3 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 2, 2014||Atletico Madrid 2 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Feb 11, 2014||Atletico Madrid 0 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Feb 5, 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - Atletico Madrid 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Sep 28, 2013||Real Madrid CF 0 - Atletico Madrid 1|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||May 17, 2013||Real Madrid CF 1 - Atletico Madrid 2|
|Real Madrid CF|
|Mar 2, 2014||Atletico Madrid 2 - Real Madrid CF 2||LIGA|
|Feb 26, 2014||Schalke 04 1 - Real Madrid CF 6||UCL|
|Feb 22, 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - Elche 0||LIGA|
|Feb 16, 2014||Getafe 0 - Real Madrid CF 3||LIGA|
|Feb 11, 2014||Atletico Madrid 0 - Real Madrid CF 2||ESPC|
|25||Diego López Rodríguez||Goalkeeper|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
The 28-year-old needs six more goals to break the 60-goal barrier for the second consecutive season. Ronaldo has found the net in his last three derbies against Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu and he will look to extend that record by leading his club to a 19th Copa del Rey title.
The Colombian striker's early goal in the home encounter against Real Madrid in April was not enough as the visitors came from behind to win 2-1. Falcao will look to produce a repeat of his man-of-the-match performance in last year's Europa League final against Athletic Bilbao and end Atletico's 14-year misery in Madrid derbies.
Atletico have done well in finals in recent seasons having won the Europa League and the Uefa Super Cup in both 2010 and 2012, but they will start Friday's final as underdogs owing to their appalling record against their city rivals in recent derbies. An understrength and distracted Real outfit managed to best Atletico in April and the former will be confident of doing the same again in the familiar surroundings of the Bernabeu.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed