Champions League Final 2014: Key Battles, Live Stream Info for Madrid Derby 2014

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMay 24, 2014

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 23:  Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid run during a Real Madrid training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final against Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio da Luz on May 23, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Madrid has the proud honour of becoming the first city ever to produce two contestants of the same European final, and Saturday will see Real and Atletico answer all the questions asked of them in recent weeks.

Diego Simeone's La Liga champions have the chance to record an epic European double, something that would have seemed unimaginable at the start of the season, but standing in his way comes the might of the continent's most decorated outfit.

Victory this weekend would see Real claim their own crowning achievement, "La Decima," an elusive 10th European Cup title, and we break down some of those key clashes likely to have the biggest influence on proceedings.


Date: Saturday, May 24

Time: 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET

Live Stream: Sky Go app (UK, subscription required), ITV Player(UK) Fox Soccer2GO (US, subscription required)

TV Info: Sky Sports 1 (UK), ITV1 (UK) Fox (US)


Key Battles

Alvaro Morata vs. Diego Godin

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 19:  Player Diego Godin of Atletico de Madrid attends questions from the media at Club Atletico de Madrid press conference during the Media Day prior to UEFA Champions League Final between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid CF at
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Should Karim Benzema be unable to fill the central striking spot in Carlo Ancelotti's line-up, it appears likely that Alvaro Morata will be the man drafted in to hold Real's line on Saturday.

The official Champions League Twitter account quoted the Italian manager in confirming that his French attacker is a doubt for Saturday's clash:

However, despite Ancelotti's relaxed approach, he'll be all too aware that Diego Godin will find it easier to challenge the movement of youngster Morata than putting up with the task that Benzema would have provided.

Godin will find Morata as an easier platform to disrupt the opposition attack, whether it's in the air or on the ground, which could lead to Real's utilisation of the wings on a more direct, regular basis, which is a tactic Atleti will find easier to keep up with and intercept as a result. 


Raphael Varane vs. Diego Costa

And there is yet more concern at the other end of Real's squad, with Pepe reported by ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan as still being an injury doubt heading into Los Merengues' final pre-final training session:

Although Raphael Varane has proven himself to be extremely capable for his age, occasions such as this have a habit of making men or mice out of people, and Diego Costa's presence could lead to the French centre-back being made to look more like the former.

Pepe's well-seasoned talents on this stage would be useful, but Varane will need to be vigilant in helping Sergio Ramos ensure that Costa—should he be fit—doesn't have his same, fixture-tipping impact in Lisbon.

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 20: Francisco Roman Alarcon alias Isco (R) of Real Madrid CF competes for the ball with his teammate Raphael Varane (L) during the training session held the Real Madrid media day, prior to UEFA Champions League final against Club Atlet
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The Spanish international is a domineering figure physically as much as anything else, and Varane must ensure that standing up to the challenge doesn't turn into brash tackling under pressure.


Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Thibaut Courtois

It's not often the case that goalkeepers are drawn into "key battle" scenarios such as this, being that they're direct involvement against any one member of the opposition can be difficult to predict.

However, one player who Atletico Madrid's Thibaut Courtois is sure to come up against in what could be his final match for the club, as things stand, is Cristiano Ronaldo.

In a match of such massive stakes, the Portuguese superstar is likely to be testing Atleti's No. 1 on a frequent basis, be it from long or short range. Squawka shows that Ronaldo had a gargantuan 172 attempts on goal this La Liga season, an average of just under six shots per game.

Despite that challenge, Courtois told beINSports that he's not afraid of what lies ahead:

The Belgian will need to be on top form if Los Rojiblancos are to overcome the odds and achieve a quite unique double this season, his only problem being that Ronaldo knows the same applies to him.