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Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid, Champions League 2017: Team News, Match Preview

Will Real Madrid keep a clean sheet?

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Real Madrid CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Well, here it is. The final stretch. You can almost see the finishing line, but we're not there yet. Just like in the previous three editions of the UEFA Champions league, we have to face our neighbours, Atletico Madrid, and hopefully crush their dreams once again. Atletico are the exact opposite of Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions league. Whenever we face them, we have the mental edge and the right fighting spirit. When the game is on the line, we rise to the occasion.

The key factor that might decide this tie will be defense, and keeping the clean sheet at home. Keeping the clean sheet is particularly tricky for Zidane's players, because we have only had one clean sheet in the last 16 games, which is highly unusual even by Real Madrid’s standards.

Both teams are facing tough decisions regarding their personnel. On the Real Madrid front, Gareth Bale and Pepe are unavailable. Yesterday, it seemed that Karim Benzema will be a major doubt, but today he managed to complete the training, so there is a chance he will start. According to José Luis Sáchez, Benzema will start only if he is 100% fit.

The big question that Zidane is facing is how should he replace Gareth Bale in the lineup. In theory, it shouldn't be a hard question to answer (the answer should be Isco). However, we were time and time again surprised by Zidane's team selection, so we will have to relax and wait.

On Atleti's front, things are far from rosy. Not only have they lost Vrsaljko and Juanfran due to injuries, but on Saturday they lost their makeshift right back - Jose Maria Gimenez. Simeone has to figure out who will start as right back and how to adjust his system and tactics accordingly. Simeone should be worried about his right flank, because Marcelo is in sensational form and he can turn even the best right backs inside out. However, he can count on Yannick Carrasco, who made a miraculously quick recovery and looks to be ready to start. (Can anyone please get their medical staff's phone number?)

How to watch Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid

Kick-off time: 20:45 CET, 02:45pm EST.

Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain.

Available TV: FOX Sports (USA), Antena 3 (Spain).

Available streaming: FOX Sports 2GO (USA), Fubo.TV (EVERY Real Madrid game with a high-quality and legal stream, click here to sign up and benefit from a huge offer for new members and Managing Madrid readers).

Projected Line Ups

Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal; Varane; Sergio Ramos; Marcelo; Casemiro; Toni Kroos; Luka Modric; Isco; Karim Benzema; Cristiano Ronaldo

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Partey; Godín; Savić; Luis; Carrasco; Gabi; Saul; Koke; Griezmann; Gameiro

Staff Predictions

Result (1) Score (2) Goal Scorers (3) Total Score
Result (1) Score (2) Goal Scorers (3) Total Score
Om RM Win 2-1 CR7, Ramos; Higuaín 42
Kiyan RM Win 3-1 Benz, CR7, Asensio; Pjanic 45
Timm RM Win 2-1 (RM win extra time) CR7, Ramos; Dybala 41
Mike - - - 34
Lucas RM Loss 1-2 CR7; Higuaín, Dybala 26
Nate RM Win 4-2 -CR7x2, Bale, Morata; Higuain, Dybala 47
Marc - - - 3
Lewis - - - 10
Tommy RM Loss 1-2 Benz; Higuaín, Mandzukic 19
Naguib RM Win 2-0 CR7, Bale 29
Vicki - - - 1
Ondra RM Win 2-0 CR7, Ramos 18
Jack RM Win 2-2 (RM win on pk's 4-3) CR7, Ramos; Dybala x2 6
Matt RM Win 1-0 CR7 8
Sam RM Win 2-1 - 1
José RM Win 3-1 CR7 x2, Morata; Mandzukic 3

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