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

Final step before Cardiff

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Real Madrid CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

On Wednesday at 10.30pm CET, we will know this year's second finalist of the UEFA Champions League, and hopefully, it is going to be Real Madrid. Real Madrid are coming into this away fixture with a huge advantage, but they must tread carefully and never assume that the tie is already won, because the second they do, it just might slip through their fingers.

Zidane's biggest task is to have the players focus on nothing but the game, keep them firmly on the ground, and prepare them to suffer. All of which he seems to be pretty good at. While mental preparation is going to play the main role tomorrow, he mustn't forget to decide how he wants to approach this game tactically.

He's got plenty of options thanks to many different player profiles in the squad. He can go with a more possession-oriented style with four central midfielders and try to dominate Atlético. Another option is to deploy our incisive counter attacks spearheaded by Ronaldo, Morata and Asensio, or to bunker down and let Casemiro sweep everything in front of the back four. Each plan has its upside and downside and it's up to Zidane to try to guess Simeone's approach and decide what is going to be the most effective option.

Speaking of Simeone, tomorrow he will lead Atlético into their last big European match at Estadio Vicente Calderón, and surely, he wants to end there on a high note. However, Atlético's performance against Eibar this weekend was far from ideal and it's apparent that Real Madrid's 3-0 thrashing has left its mark on them. From Atlético's point of view, it would be bittersweet to lose to not just any other team, but to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League in their last European game at Estadio Vicente Calderón.

I'm convinced that this fact alone will make Real Madrid's players even more sharper.

How to watch Atlético Madrid vs Real Madrid

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

Venue: Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid, Spain.

Available TV: FOX Sports (USA), BeIN Sports (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; Danilo, Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric; Asensio, Morata, Cristiano Ronaldo

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Lucas, 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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