Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid: Start Time, TV Coverage Guide and Predictions

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2016

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 24: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid in action with Tiago of Atletico de Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio da Luz on May 24, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

A Madrid derby will settle the UEFA Champions League for the second time in three seasons. Atletico Madrid are out for revenge against 10-time winners Real Madrid after Los Blancos won in extra time in the 2014 final.

Yet Atleti are looking stronger headed into this year's final at Milan's San Siro stadium, as manager Diego Simeone's squad got past Barcelona and Bayern Munich en route to the tournament's climax.

Meanwhile, Real made hard work of outlasting Manchester City in the final four, and Zinedine Zidane only succeeded Rafa Benitez as manager earlier this season, so he doesn't boast the experience Simeone has.

Read on for the schedule and viewing details ahead of the big game, followed by predictions for the encounter between the local rivals:

 

Date: Saturday, May 28

Start Time: 7:45 p.m. (BST). 2:45 p.m. (ET).

TV: BT Sport Europe. Fox Sports.

Live Stream: BT Sport App. Fox Soccer2Go.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo Will Overcome Atletico's Defence

Breaking down the toughest defence in Europe is quite a challenge for Zidane, and it's one sure to demand the full quota of Los Blancos' attacking talent in Milan.

Fortunately, talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to do just that after shrugging off concerns about his fitness following a scare in training, per James Kilpatrick of Sky Sports: "I am fine. I had a little problem in training, a dead leg as they say here, but tomorrow [Wednesday] or the next day I will be fine. It was a minor scare, a knock."

Zidane is also confident his prolific No. 7 will be ready to play, per the tournament's official Twitter account:

Ronaldo's involvement will be an ominous sight for Atletico after his 16 goals in the competition this season, per WhoScored.com. His partnership with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale is dangerous enough to unlock any defence.

But Atleti aren't just any defence. In fact, they've turned keeping the door shut into a fine art on Simeone's watch, as statistics from the Champions League prove:

Centre-back Diego Godin, goalkeeper Jan Oblak and right-back Juanfran are the key figures, but they are expertly protected by midfield man and captain Gabi.

Yet Atletico didn't make it to a second final in three years purely on the strength of the men at the back.

 

Antoine Griezmann Will Score

It's hardly a bold prediction to say Antoine Griezmann will once again carry the goalscoring load for Simeone's side. The slight, intelligent and quick French forward has become one of the best attackers on the continent.

Griezmann can finish with either foot and is terrific in the air, despite his diminutive frame. But clever movement is the real key to the 25-year-old's game, as his runs are perceptive and perfectly timed.

It's his range of movement that will get Griezmann behind the Real defence and allow him to score in the final.

In fact, Griezmann is counting on helping his side draw first blood in Milan, according to UEFA.com's Guillermo Honrubia: "We're going to be ready. We'll remain focused every second of every minute, and give our all like always. We'll run our socks off, look to win the ball back by pressing high, and try to get the first goal. We'll have to be strong both mentally and physically."

If Atletico do score early, count on Griezmann being the one who gets the goal.

 

Toni Kroos Will be Man of the Match

Undermining Atleti's stingy defence and going one better than Griezmann will require Real bossing things in midfield and making intelligent use of the ball. Fortunately for Zidane, he can count on Toni Kroos to do both.

The ex-Bayern Munich star has been revived since Zidane took over. He's getting on the ball more often and dovetailing well with Luka Modric.

The latter's presence alongside holding midfielder Casemiro is allowing Kroos more license to get forward and take on shooting opportunities. Considering Kroos possesses a rocket of a shot, Atleti won't want to see him raiding forward too often.

His influence in the final third will supply Ronaldo with the chances he needs to decide this match. 

Zidane's men may not be playing the fluid brand of football that won this tournament two years ago, but there's still enough power in the ranks to help Los Merengues best their stubborn neighbours once more.

 

Prediction: Real 2-1 Atletico.