Madrid: Real Madrid travel across town for the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final against Atletico Madrid hoping for as placid a night as possible.
Last week saw Real Madrid defeat Atletico 3-0 in the first leg in a result which leaves Atletico with a mountain to climb if they want to overturn the result. Not least because the away goals rule means that if Real Madrid are able to score in the Vicente Calderon Stadium, that would leave Atletico needing to score a virtually impossible five goals in order to qualify, reports Xinhua.
The two sides produced an ugly match with several players guilty of overstepping the line in terms of fair play with Real Madrid's Pepe and Alvaro Arbeloa and Atletico's Diego Costa all extremely fortunate not to be sent off by the referee.
Costa was booked and is suspended for the return leg which means Real Madrid will not have to worry about his goal threat or his gamesmanship and things may be calmer without the Brazilian, who is likely to represent Spain at the next World Cup.
With David Villa struggling for fitness, Diego Simeone is left with just Adrian Lopez to lead the attack and the former Deportivo forward has been out of form in recent weeks. Perhaps bearing that in mind Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has decided this is the moment to bring central defender Rafael Varene back after his two and a half month absence due to a knee injury. Either Sergio Ramos or Pepe will be rested.
"It is a good moment for him to return," said Ancelotti, who added that Cristiano Ronaldo, suspended in La Liga for a further two games, will also play.
"Games between two teams from the same city are always more intense than normally would be the case. We are going to prepare for a difficult game with intensity and we will try to do the same as we did in the first leg," he said.
Ancelotti's prediction of a tough game will probably be correct as Atletico will not be able to simply allow Real Madrid to qualify in front of their home fans and winger Arda Turam has promised his side will give their all in search of a miracle.
"We are Atletico Madrid and we never just give up on a game. It was a tough result in the Bernabeu but we are Atletico and we will give everything to try and turn it around," said the Turk.
The side which progresses to the final Tuesday will face the winner of the second semi-final which sees FC Barcelona take a 2-0 lead to play Real Sociedad Wednesday.