Real Madrid visit Atletico de Madrid in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final tonight knowing that barring a disaster they will make it to their third final in four years.
Los Blancos hold a 3-0 lead from last week’s first leg in which the demolished Diego Simeone’s team. Atletico are in a bad run of form at the moment, going down 2-0 at Almeria at the weekend, and Carlo Ancelotti will be confident his men can finish off the job at the Vicente Calderon.
Real welcome back Cristiano Ronaldo into the fold for the capital derby. The 29-year-old, fresh from completing his birthday celebrations at the weekend, will go straight back into the side at a ground where he has scored on four previous occasions. The Portuguese star still has two games to sit out in La Liga though because of his red card against Athletic Bilbao, and will miss the fixtures against Getafe and Elche.
Raphael Varane will make his comeback from injury this evening, with Pepe or Sergio Ramos being rested. Both of those two are a yellow card away from being suspended for the final.
Iker Casillas will start in goal as Ancelotti rotates his keepers from the cup competitions, while we could see some playing time for Isco, who is thought to be unhappy with his bit-part role in the team in recent weeks.
On their part, Atletico have been making the right noises about the game, with various players and the manager saying never say never, and promising to go all out attack from the start. With injuries and eyes on greater targets such as La Liga and the Champions League, it may not be as explosive a derby as we’ve seen in recent years however.
Atletico de Madrid: Courtois-Juanfran-Insua-Miranda-Godin-Diego Ribas-Gabi-Koke-Raul Garcia-Arda Turan-Adrian Lopez
Real Madrid: Casillas-Varane-Ramos-Arbeloa-Marcelo-Modric-Alonso-Ronaldo-Bale-Di Maria-Benzema