There's a level of anti-climax involved with Tuesday's Copa del Rey semifinal second leg between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid. Thanks to Los Blancos' 3-0 win in the opening leg, the chances of Atléti making a comeback, even at home, are slim to none. That certainly doesn't mean it's impossible, but it's highly unlikely.
More interesting might be how Diego Simeone chooses to approach the match. After a loss over the weekend against 17th-placed Almeria, there's a decision to made about priorities. Atléti's schedule remains busy with another league match on Saturday and the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie against AC Milan next Wednesday. Will Simeone and Atléti "pack it up" against Madrid and focus ahead or try to salvage some pride with a positive result?
Real Madrid, on the other hand, are busy as well, though they seemingly can't stop winning matches. Despite giving up a goal (two to be precise) for the first time in 2014 at home over the weekend in their win over Villarreal, they remained undefeated in the new year and pulled even on points with their two rivals for the league title.
Carlo Ancelotti spoke about resting either Pepe or Sergio Ramos on Tuesday, with Raphaël Varana expected to get a start. Cristiano Ronaldo will play as he's suspended for two more league matches, so there's no reason not to get him some match time.
Atlético Madrid injuries and suspensions
Real Madrid injuries and suspensions
Out: Sami Khedira (knee). In Doubt: Marcelo (knock), Fabio Coentrão (knock).
Both Marcelo and Coentrão were pulled Saturday after picking up knocks and their status for Tuesday remains up in the air, which could leave Madrid a little thin at the bank. Diego Costa is serving a card accumulation suspension and with David Villa still out, Atléti attack options are severely limited. Keeper Courtois has been dealing with back spasms and will miss the second leg; Dani Aranzubia will replace him.
Atlético Madrid: Dani Aranzubia, Emiliano Insua, Diego Godin, Miranda, Juanfran, Raúl García, Koke, Arda Turan, Gabi, Diego, Adrián.
Match Date/Time: 9 p.m. local, 3 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain
TV: beIN Sports USA, beIN Sports en Español(U.S.), Sky Sports 2 (U.K.)
Online: beIN Sports Play (U.S.), beIN Sports Play (Canada)