Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has said his side will be out to avenge the humiliation of their 4-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid in February when the sides meet in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday.
Los Blancos beat Atletico 4-1 after extra time to win their tenth European Cup in last season’s final, but the La Liga champions have turned the tide in the Spanish capital this season with four wins and two draws in six previous meetings this campaign. The most recent of those matches was the most embarrassing for Real as Atletico outplayed Ancelotti’s men from first minute to last to seal their biggest win in a Madrid derby for 28 years.
“The last result against Atletico is a motivating factor for us. It will be a different game, but difficult as it always is against Atletico,” said Ancelotti after his side closed to within two points of Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a 3-0 win over Eibar on Saturday. “We come into the game in good form, we are motivated and we will give everything we have.”
In stark contrast to when the sides last met, Real will be at full strength as Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez return from suspension, whilst Gareth Bale is expected to shake off the muscle problem which forced him to miss out on Saturday. Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo, Luka Modric and Rodriguez all missed the 4-0 thrashing due to either injury or suspension and Ancelotti insisted that having their experience back in the side will help to compete with Atletico’s famed intensity.
“I don’t have any doubt that it will be an intense game. That will be an important component of the game, but there will also be others that we need to utilise. I am very clear about Tuesday, the only thing we lack is the result.”
Atletico had a far more uncomfortable afternoon as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Malaga. Antoine Griezmann took his tally for the season to 21 as he opened and rounded off the scoring either side of a Fernando Torres own goal and lovely finish from Samuel Garcia midway through the second-half.
“We wanted to win the game, but it wasn’t to be. It was a difficult match against an opponent that played with a lot of intensity,” said the French international. “Now we need to rest and think about the Champions League.”