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UEFA Champions League

Champions League: Capital Derby as Real Host Atletico



It’s a variant of El Classico as Real Madrid on Tuesday; face city rivals Atletico Madrid in the first leg semi-final duel of the UEFA Champions League. It is the fifth time both teams are meeting in the European Cup.
When both met last month at the Bernabeu in the La Liga, score lines were stalemated at 1-1.
For Real Madrid who are playing their 28th European Cup semi-final, they have beaten Atletico twice in two of the past three finals. Tuesday’s game is the seventh straight semi-final appearance of Real Madrid whose morale has been boosted by the return to fitness of Raphael Varane.
But according to, Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane is optimistically cautious.
“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.”
He tried to play down the form book which sway in his team’s favour. ‘We’re not favourites,’ he instead. But such worries may have been informed by the fact that Real Madrid will be without Gareth Bale who has calf injury and Pepe who is also injured in the ribs.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and the country’s most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022.

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