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Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid: Latest Team News Ahead of Madrid Derby 2014

Real's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring the opening goal during a  Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul White)
Paul White/Associated Press
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2014

It's a harsh truth to accept, but it's often the case that even the most sacred of occasions, such as the Champions League final, are influenced by external factors that none can control.

Saturday's contesting of the first-ever intra-city European final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid is no different in that sense, with injuries likely to intrude upon the fixture.

We bring you all the latest team news ahead of the crunch clash at the Estadio da Luz, with player absence affecting both sides of the Spanish capital.

 

Real Madrid

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 23:  In this handout image provided by UEFA, Carlo Ancelotti, coach of Real Madrid attends a press conference ahead of the UEFA Champions League final against Atletico Madrid at Estadio da Luz on May 23, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Handout/Getty Images

There are some doubts in Carlo Ancelotti's squad this weekend, but one thing for certain is that Xabi Alonso's suspension will not be magically altered, and the Spanish maestro will miss the final.

Asier Illarramendi is fit and ready to go as Alonso's successor this weekend, but Ancelotti could choose to field Sami Khedira in the middle, recently returned from a long-term knee injury but lacking in match fitness, per Sky Sports and ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan:

The more recent concerns for Real are the potential absences of centre-back Pepe and first-choice striker Karim Benzema, whom the official Champions League Twitter account confirms is a doubt:

Corrigan gives more detail on Pepe's situation, as well as some insight as to what this trio's absence means for Los Blancos:

One major positive for Ancelotti is to hear that Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are both 100 percent cleared to feature in Lisbon, per BBC Sport, giving the manager some cause for relief.

 

Atletico Madrid

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 23:   In this handout image provided by UEFA, Diego Simeone, coach of Club Atletico de Madrid attends a press conference ahead of the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid at Estadio da Luz on May 23, 2014 in Lisbon, Portu
Handout/Getty Images

In Diego Simeone's camp, things aren't quite as troublesome in terms of volume, but it's the quality of Atleti's injury doubts that would lead one to fear for Los Rojiblancos.

Diego Costa and Arda Turan have both been essential attacking figures for the club this term, but beINSports quote Simeone as saying that a call will be made later on Saturday regarding the match fitness of the pair:

The Argentine remains confident in his line-up with or without the talents of top scorer Costa, however, per Sky Sports:

If it were up to the neutral, both squads would assuredly have every weapon at their disposal made available to them, but these are the cards that each outfit has been dealt thus far, and Saturday evening will shed some light on who copes better without missing personnel.

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