Atletico's injuries could give Real Madrid edge in CL semis

The most prestigious competition in European soccer returns May 2 after the semifinal draw on April 21 as Real Madrid hosts Spanish city rivals Atletico Madrid in a repeat of last seasons finale, while the French side AS Monaco will host Italian league leaders Juventus May 3.

Real Madrid wants to do all the hard work at home in the Champions League semifinals against Atletico Madrid.

As Real Madrid CF and Atletico Madrid gear up to face each other tonight in the Champions League once again, albeit in semi-finals this time, the memories of their previous encounters will still be fresh. Luckily, Real Madrid still have Cristiano Ronaldo so they can never be counted out of a game.

Giving him support from midfield will be two of Spain's brightest talents, Saul Niguez and Koke, a midfield duo who can not be found wanting if Atletico are to take anything back for the second leg.

Real Madrid received a major boost for tonight's game as Raphael Varane is declared fit for the derby.

The Champions League match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1.

Real Madrid have reached the Champions League semis for the 7th consecutive season, a record in the history of the tournament.

Real Madrid escaped with all three points against Valencia thanks to an 85th minute goal that saw Los Blancos win 2-1. However, they will be conditioned by the Europa League, where they have a meeting with Manchester United on the horizon and then, a possible final to play.

Isco also remembered the penalty shootout against Atletico in Milan a year ago which Real won 5-3.

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Winning the home game 1-0 and settling for a 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium, tells how Diego Simeone's men struggled in the quarter-finals.

Los Rojiblancos, who won 5-0 at Las Palmas at the weekend, are likely to be without Jose Gimenez and Juanfran for the first-leg semi-final clash at the Bernabeu.

"They'll be desperate to beat us after the two Champions Leagues that we've won".

Injuries at the back will make Atletico's trip to the Bernabeu on Tuesday even more hard. Pepe, who is now out injured, had the Real goal.

Right-back Dani Carvajal darted into the penalty area and drove in a low shot which goalkeeper Jan Oblak palmed onto Real forward Karim Benzema, who could only prod the ball wide.

A year ago saw Atleti come within sight of glory once again before seeing it snatched away - this time on penalties, again to Real.

"From that moment on, we will have to be strong and make the match as comfortable for us as possible".

This is what Atletico fans use to refer to their club and it loosely translates from Spanish as "the cursed ones".

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