Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
The latest edition of the Madrid derby is for the Copa del Rey. Real Madrid won the domestic cup two years ago while rival Atletico Madrid last captured the trophy in 1996. The final will take place at Real's Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid won both meetings during the La Liga season, 2-0 at home and 2-1 on the road in a match that happened at the end of last month. Atletico must do a better job in the defensive third to avoid a season sweep at the hands of Los Blancos.
Both clubs are looking to end the campaign on a high note after watching Barcelona run away with the league title. Winning the Copa del Rey would serve as a nice consolation prize, and doing it against a chief rival would make the triumph even sweeter.
Which Madrid rival will capture the Copa del Rey?
The atmosphere in Madrid should be tremendous for the final. Here's a look at all the important viewing information for the rivalry clash, followed by players to watch and a prediction for which club will capture the coveted title.
Where: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain
When: Friday, May 17 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Watch: ESPN and ESPN Deportes
Live Stream: ESPN3.com
Real Madrid Player to Watch: Mesut Ozil
Ozil has enjoyed another productive season in midfield. The 24-year-old playmaker continues to display pinpoint passing ability which, when combined with his vision, allows him to create a lot of golden scoring chances for his teammates.
He's accounted for nine goals and 10 assists in league play, but has struggled to make that type of impact during the club's Copa del Rey run. Real needs him to have a much better showing in the final as the point man of the attack.
While Cristiano Ronaldo gets most of the attention because of his finishing ability, Los Blancos' attack is at its best when Ozil is dominating in the midfield. That's where most of the battles will need to be won in the final and Real is depending on Ozil to win them.
Atletico Madrid Player to Watch: Thibaut Courtois
In order to pull off the upset, Atletico is going to need a great match from Courtois. The goalkeeper, who's on loan from Chelsea, has continued to impress in his second season with the club. At 21, his potential is through the roof and playing in these big matches serves as great experience.
An in-form keeper can always serve as the equalizer in a match like this. And with 22 clean sheets in 42 appearances across all competitions, he's stolen his fair share of points for the club. Now Los Colchoneros hope he can help grab the title with a solid performance.
The biggest key for Courtois is remaining focused for the entire match. Real, and especially Ronaldo, aren't afraid to unleash strikes from long range if they see an opening. If he can avoid any major gaffes, Atletico should be able to stay within striking distance.
Matchup to Watch: Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Radamel Falcao
Which superstar will be able to generate more scoring opportunities in dangerous areas? The answer to that question is going to have a significant impact on which club wins the title. Ronaldo and Falcao can each be downright unstoppable at times.
Which superstar will shine brighter in the final?
Both players have been in good form lately. Ronaldo has scored in eight of his last 11 appearances, netting 11 goals over that span. Falcao has six goals in his last six matches. So the back lines are going to have their hands full with them in the final.
Ultimately, the slight edge in the key matchup goes to Ronaldo. His free-kick prowess will be a vital asset in a match where every set piece in the attacking third will be crucial and he's capable of creating his own chances. Expect him to lead Real Madrid to the title.
Real Madrid 2, Atletico Madrid 1
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