Madrid derby returns in Champions League quarters | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 13.04.2015
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Madrid derby returns in Champions League quarters

Two old foes collide once again in the Champions League, as Real and Atletico meet in Madrid to replay last year's final in this week's quarterfinals. Juventus, conqueror of Borussia Dortmund, faces Monaco.

Last year's Champions League final in Lisbon was one to remember for the white side of Madrid. Real's La Decima triumph of 10 European Cups was sealed after late drama on a sizzling Portuguese evening, having gone behind early to a Diego Godin goal.

Since then, Atletico has been on top in the rival encounters: Four wins from six and no defeats for Diego Simeone's side, including a win in the season opening Spanish Super Cup, has Atletico as favorites especially considering this first leg is at the Vicente Calderon stadium.

"I'm not obsessed with revenge for Lisbon," Simeone said when the Madrid teams were paired together in the UEFA draw. "After all, we have beaten them four times since then. But what I would like is to finish our bad luck in the Champions League, once and for all."

Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid has been a different team so far in 2015, for all the wrong reasons. Seven losses have come in the calendar year already, compared to just seven competitive defeats in all of 2014.

At one stage they went three games without a win with big name players under-performing. But now, with Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo once again firing on all cylinders, Real is a force to be reckoned with.

Atletico has been better, but not by much. Since their defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of the round of 16 tie in the Champions League, Atletico has gone eight games unbeaten. Four draws and four wins have boosted their standings, but Simeone's side is still seven points adrift of Real, third in La Liga.

Having lost in the 1959 semifinals and last year's final to Real, the added incentives for this blockbuster tie aren't hard to find. There are no injury troubles for either side, with Sami Khedira the only doubt as he struggles with back problems.

Monaco have already overcome English side Arsenal in the Champions League this season

Monaco have already overcome English side Arsenal in the Champions League this season

Can Monaco go further?

One of France's in-form teams - third in Ligue 1 - Monaco, faces a daunting task against Juventus as they restart their already successful Champions League campaign. Having been drawn against Arsenal in the previous round, the Red and Whites were given little hope of progressing. But a stunning performance in London gave them enough to defend at home. However this time, it's Juventus who stand in their way.

The Italian club is one of the strongest teams at home in Europe. Juventus has lost just once at home since Bayern Munich won at the same stage of the competition last season. Now, under new coach Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus looks an imperious European side again.

Their form had been superb up until the weekend. Having not conceded a goal since their cup loss to Fiorentina at the beginning of last month, Juventus was beaten by Parma at the weekend. Allegri rested several players and said that "against Monaco it will be another game" as he looks forward to the return of Carlos Tevez from injury.

Juventus could also see the return of Andrea Pirlo, who hasn't played since the first leg of the tie with Dortmund. However, they will be without star Frenchman Paul Pogba (hamstring), as well as Martin Caceres (ankle) and Kwadwo Asamoah (knee). Monaco's only player unfit is striker Lacina Traore, who has a leg injury.