After winning the Copa del Rey and Champions League title in 2017, Real Madrid are set to embark on a run of top-class footballing success.
This year, the Portuguese club will look to take their next step towards glory.
This weekend, they host Atletico Madrid at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, and they will play Barcelona in the first game of the semi-final on Monday.
The match is expected to be one of the most eagerly anticipated in the tournament, as the two clubs will meet at the most important stage of the season.
Atletico have won their first four games of the campaign, and the hosts have been one of Real Madrid’s main rivals since the beginning of the year.
Real Madrid have won four of their five games at the Bernabeuer, and this is their only defeat in the group stage.
As such, the home side will have to make sure they win the first two matches of the group, which is why they have decided to hold off on any preparations until the start of the game.
The first two games will be played at the same time, so the first leg will kick off at 8:30am local time.
The second leg will take place at 9:00am local, with the final kick-off at 4:00pm local.
There are only two possible scenarios for the tie.
One is a tiebreaker, where one team wins both legs of the tie to determine the winner.
If the teams have equal goals, the winner will advance to the final.
The other scenario is a draw.
The tiebreaker is based on a team’s score differential, and as a result, teams that score more goals than their opponents in the second leg have a greater chance of winning.
The draw will also be based on points scored, and Real Madrid will get two points if they score the same number of goals as Barcelona in both legs.
Real will play in their home ground, the Estádio Santiago de Compostela, for the first time since September.
Real’s home match against Barcelona will be their first in the Santiago Bernabéu since January 2015, when they defeated Athletic Bilbao 4-0 in the quarter-finals.
The home side also have a home advantage against the Catalans, having won the last two matches there.
Barcelona have not lost a home game in La Liga since December 2018.
As the title race continues to heat up, there is no better time to be watching the Copas del Rey semi-finals, as Real Madrid should have a great chance of taking the title.
Real may not be the biggest club in Spain, but they have always looked like a serious threat in Europe.
Barcelona are also the team to beat in the league, and with three consecutive Champions League titles under their belt, they have the momentum to take the title from Real Madrid in the coming weeks.
What to watch for Atletico’s players are the same as the first half of the match against Real Madrid, as they have been playing at a high level since the end of the Copacabana.
Atleti’s midfield is currently one of Europe’s most potent units, as Cristiano Ronaldo, David Villa and Pedro is all on the same page with each other.
This is reflected in the midfield play.
While Barcelona will certainly have the ball, they will need to make the right choices with the ball to succeed.
The best thing for Atletis midfield is to keep it compact, but try to find space for their strikers, as there is nothing like the pace of Ronaldo or Villa to turn the ball over.
The most dangerous moment for Barcelona is when they create a chance.
In their previous two games against Real, Atletias forwards have scored five goals, and it is clear that the team has been working hard.
However, there are also times when they are not able to take advantage of this space.
In the second half of last season, Atletico were forced to make some changes, but it is important that they make the most of the opportunity.
They are a team who are always looking to create, and are always in the right place at the right time.
If Real Madrid do not play their best football, Atlets defence will get exposed, and Atletijas defence will become more vulnerable.
This game is expected on Monday, as it is the last match of the quarterfinals.
This means the final will be on Tuesday, March 8.
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