Champions League semi-final sees Atletico out to forget final heartbreak

"Then I lost a final with Valencia against Madrid in another terrible season for them".

Atletico have shaken off their inferiority complex against Real in every other competition under Simeone, beating them twice in the King's Cup and winning four of their last eight league derbies, but not in Europe's elite arena. "It's a semi-final and we know what we have to do but the fans have an important role to play too".

There have been six clean sheets in 10 Uefa Champions League matches on this run to the semi-final, so Atletico will be confident of keeping it tight and low-scoring, at least at their end against Real.

"They'll be desperate to beat us after the two Champions Leagues that we've won".

"We'll learn from our mistakes and be mindful for Wednesday's match", said coach Massimiliano Allegri, who will be looking to Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain to fire them into the June 3 Champions League final in Cardiff.

But Zinedine Zidane's Real, hoping to become the first side to retain the Champions League, are formidable opponents at their stadium, where they earned a last-gasp victor Saturday to remain on track in a tight fight with Barcelona for La Liga.

Hernandez has played 23 La Liga games for Atletico, including 12 this season.

Real coach Zinedine Zidane dismissed the history. That would mean adding youngster Lucas Hernandez to the middle of the defense to replace Savic, who has played as a right back with Montenegro's national team.

Zinedine Zidane' side shook off a dogged Valencia side 2-1 at the Bernabeu on Saturday with a late victor by Marcelo, the 20th goal Real have scored in the final 10 minutes in the league this season, which kept their bid for a 33rd title on track. Isco, Morata and James Rodriguez have all been heavily linked with moves away from the Bernabeu in the summer due to their lack of game time.

Atletico Madrid have staved off the interest surrounding 21-year old defender Lucas Hernandez by extending his contact till 2022.

  • Julie Sanders