Recent games between Real and Atletico Madrid have not been short on goals or incident. In fact, in four meetings this season, the teams shared 10 goals and produced only one stalemate.
The stakes will be even higher for the next installment of the Madrid derby, as the city rivals contest the 2014 UEFA Champions League final. But the extra tension won't preclude plenty of goals.
It's worth noting there hasn't been a scoreless final since the all-Serie A snoozer between AC Milan and Juventus at Old Trafford in May 2003, per UEFA.com.
Given the ample attacking talent on display in this year's final, it would take a brave person betting on neither net bulging in 90 minutes. Real boast the competition's top scorer in Cristiano Ronaldo, who has compiled an astonishing 16 goals in 10 outings this season, per WhoScored.com.
But Atletico have their own prolific talisman, at least they hope they will. Striker Diego Costa has found the net in six of his eight CL appearances this season, per UEFA.com, with eight goals total.
Of course, the concern for Atletico manager Diego Simeone is whether Costa will be fit enough to try his luck in a ninth CL tie. Costa succumbed to a hamstring injury early in Atletico's La Liga-winning 1-1 draw at Barcelona.
That has put his participation in the final in doubt, according to Joe Strange of the Daily Mail. But Costa is taking radical steps to make sure he is ready to play in Lisbon.
The 25-year-old has visited with "medical miracle worker" Marijana Kovacevic, according to Liam Prenderville of the Daily Mirror. The Belgrade-based healer is noted for the use of horse placenta as a remedy for many common sporting ills.
If Costa can't win his own fitness battle, it will be a blow to Simeone's men, although not necessarily a fatal one. Atletico don't possess another forward with Costa's tenacity, class or guile, but they can call on some useful performers.
Raul Garcia has scored four goals in the competition and provided three assists, per his UEFA.com tournament profile. He usually operates as a supporting striker but has a knack for scrambling in critical goals.
The likes of Adrian Lopez and CL veteran David Villa are also stellar options to have in reserve.
Speaking of assists, captain Gabi Fernandez has been a vital creative outlet for Atletico. He has set up four goals for teammates. Even with Costa not on the pitch, Simeone's team will create chances.
But despite their deceptively strong squad, Atletico just can't match the potency of Los Blancos. Real boast a quartet of crafty creators and ruthlessly efficient goal-getters that has dominated this season's competition:
|Real Madrid's Champions League Arsenal|
|Angel di Maria||3||5||1.8||1.8|
|UEFA.com and WhoScored.com|
Having four match-winners in attack seems an almost unfair advantage. But this is precisely why team president Florentino Perez invests in a Galacticos policy.
Of course, Atletico boast a particularly stingy defence. Full-backs Juanfran and Filipe Luis are both uncompromising, while the centre-back pairing of Miranda and Diego Godin is the finest on the Continent.
However, Carlo Ancelotti's Real are unlikely to fear the Atletico rearguard. They have found the net seven times in their last three clashes with the local enemy.
But Ancelotti might be concerned about his own back four. It was breached twice in the quarter-final second leg away to Borussia Dortmund and often appear shaky.
Real have too much ammunition in attack, but their own defence is dubious. Meanwhile, Atletico's attacking reserves are underrated.
That adds up to a final sure to produce goals, with Real ultimately edging a scoring duel.
Projected final score: Real Madrid 3-2 Atletico Madrid