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2014 Champions League Final Preview: Penalties

As if regular and extra time isn't stressful enough, here's the preview of a penalty shootout should it happen.

Alex Grimm

You guys, I'm not going to lie, I'm an absolutely nervous TRAIN WRECK right now. My stomach is churning, I can't focus on anything, I keep having nightmares about Atleti winning it all. Just when I think it can't get worse, the idea of the game going into a penalty kick shootout creeps into my mind and I turn into a paralyzed bundle of nerves.

However, in the case that this nightmare-ish scenario were to play itself out, what should we expect from the two teams? Both have world class keepers, both have good players who can make solid boot-to-ball contact in a generally forward direction, both have managers who have undoubtedly worked on penalties this week. So who has the edge?

Atletico Madrid

In the league, Atleti have been awarded 10 penalties with three awarded against them which is somewhat surprising given how physical of a side they are. However, Real Madrid have been awarded two penalties against Atleti in the CDR so maybe Carlo's men have their number. Of those 10 PKs awarded, Atleti only scored on six with the other four being saved. Diego Costa has taken eight of them and has scored on 5/8, while David Villa has taken the other two and has scored on one of them. In the Champions League, they have been awarded two PKs with Costa taking both and missing one. Thibault Courtois has saved one of three PKs he faced in the league as well as the one he faced in the Champions League.

Should Costa be playing tomorrow, their probable PK shootout lineup is as follows:

  • Diego Costa
  • David Villa
  • Raul Garcia
  • Koke
  • Gabi
  • Arda Turan
  • Diego
Real Madrid

The blancos have been awarded six penalty kicks in the league this season with five going against them. Of the six in the league, they've converted on all six as frontman Cristiano Ronaldo bagged all of them with ease since he's the designated PK taker. He also scored on both attempts against Atleti in the second leg of the CDR. In the Champions League, Real were awarded three penalties with two of them being saved (one save against CR, the other against Angel di Maria) while conceding one themselves and not being able to save it.

Real Madrid's probable PKs shootout lineup is as follows:
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Angel di Maria
  • Sergio Ramos (ugh)
  • Luka Modric
  • Karim Benzema (pending fitness)
  • Gareth Bale
  • (don't really want to think about it past this point)
So there you are, my worst fears laid out. It would stand to reason that Real Madrid holds the edge based on Atleti's poor record in PK scenarios this season, CR being near automatic (DO NOT want to talk about the Bayern game two years ago) and Iker Casillas having a long history of saving PKs, but it's the final and all indications might as well be thrown out the window at this point. Who knows what'll happen, I'm just hoping it all ends in regulation simply for the sake of my sanity.

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