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How can Real Madrid match Atlético's intensity?

One has been the common factor for Real Madrid's losses against Atlético this season: Los Blancos can't match Atlético's intensity just yet.

After conquering the 2013-2014 Champions League title, the coveted Décima, Atlético de Madrid have ruled against their city rivals. Real Madrid have not been able to get a single win in any of their six meetings this season, with four defeats and two draws. Simeone clearly has the edge over Ancelotti, even though the latter has the better roster. Why? It might all come down to motivation and intensity.

During the late stages of the Liga BBVA match against Eibar, the fans at the Bernabéu asked Real Madrid to "bust their balls" against Atlético as if they knew the problem behind the recent struggles against Los Rojiblancos. When Simeone and his men destroyed Real Madrid 4-0, Cristiano Ronaldo went out to celebrate his 30th birthday with multiple players from the roster, something that some fans interpreted as a lack of commitment.

This time, Carlo Ancelotti needs to motivate his players. The Italian coach believes there are "other factors that need to be taken care of", but Real Madrid will not be able to beat Atlético de Madrid without intensity, pride and courage. It would be reasonable to take a cautious approach and settle for a draw in this first leg, but that will not be something easy to achieve if the players don't have what it takes to contain the Vicente Calderón's atmosphere and Atleti's fire.

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