"It's intense," said Zinédine Zidane, summing up the mood ahead of the latest capital derby, though Real Madrid's past European successes against Atlético are little comfort.
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- 'We're not favourites,' insists Madrid boss Zidane
- Madrid ended Atlético's hopes in past three seasons, twice in final
- Madrid without forward Gareth Bale (calf) and Pepe (ribs)
- European champions are unbeaten in 14 European games (W9 D5)
Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modrić; Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Out: Bale (calf), Pepe (ribs)
Atlético: Oblak; Hernández, Godín, Savić, Filipe Luís; Ñíguez, Koke, Gabi, Carrasco; Griezmann, Gameiro.
Out: Juanfran (hamstring), Giménez (adductor), Fernández (knee), Vrsaljko (knee)
Zinédine Zidane, Real Madrid coach
We're not favourites. It's 50-50, as it always is in the knockout stages. We know each other very well. The rivalry with Atleti hasn't changed since I was a player. It's a derby in the capital. It's intense, but the rivalry remains the same.
We need to do everything well tomorrow. If we do, then we'll see. Getting to the semis means you've done great so far but this is a new game.
Diego Simeone, Atlético coach
I always feel a bit scared before games. I'm isolated from everything, and with the tension it's normal. You've got a lot of responsibility and that gets bigger and bigger. I feel it facing any side – irrespective of the match and opposition.
They'll come out strong as they always do at home. They can play in different systems with Isco, James, Asensio. They'll try and hurt us from the off. We need to be strong and stay as cool as possible. It'll be tight but hopefully we can take advantage of the spaces we create.
Real Madrid 2-1 Valencia (Ronaldo 27, Marcelo 86; Parejo 82)
Marcelo's first Liga goal since October ensured Madrid stayed level on points with Barcelona at the Spanish top-flight summit. The Brazilian full-back's late right-footed effort from the edge of the area gave the Merengues the points after Daniel Parejo looked to have earned Valencia a draw. Cristiano Ronaldo had headed in Dani Carvajal's cross to give Madrid the advantage, taking his tally to 20 Liga goals this term – the eighth successive season he has reached that mark.
Las Palmas 0-5 Atlético (Gameiro 2 18, Saúl Ñíguez 17, Thomas 72, Torres 90+1)
Simeone's men are now 15 matches unbeaten away from home – a run stretching back to December – and have kept nine clean sheets in their last 13 fixtures. They took an early lead through Kevin Gameiro's close-range finish and had all but put the game to bed inside 18 minutes thanks to Saúl Ñíguez's header and Gameiro's neat finish. Thomas struck the standout goal, rounding off a slick move to net for the first time this season, before substitute Fernando Torres added late gloss.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Real Madrid: WWLWWW
Reporter's view: Joe Walker (@UEFAcomJoeW)
One thing is for certain in this fixture: there can be no excuses for not knowing the opposition. Real Madrid have knocked Atlético out of European competition for the last three seasons and Simeone will be hell-bent on revenge. Madrid have been scoring a lot of goals, however the fact they are yet to keep a clean sheet in the competition and have a relatively porous defence will give the Rojiblancos hope of securing a precious away goal to take back to the Calderón. It will be a tight, cagey affair and one that will likely be decided by the finest of margins.
Did you know?
Madrid are through to their seventh consecutive UEFA Champions League semi-final, a competition record. It will be their 12th semi-final appearance in total, also a record, one more than Barcelona. The Merengues have won five UEFA Champions League semi-finals – and went on to win the trophy on each occasion. Find out more in our extensive match background.