The setting or situation really doesn't matter when Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid meet in a competitive match. Whether it's a league match or a cup game -- which is the case on Wednesday -- these two teams coming together is usually one of the biggest matches of the season.
This latest edition of El Derbi Madrileño is the first leg of their Copa del Rey Round of 16 tie, a seemingly far too early point in the tournament for these two clubs to play, but such is the draw this year. While neither side can win the tie on Wednesday, it can certainly be lost. Take last season's semifinal between these two same teams when Real Madrid hammered Atléti 3-0 in the first leg, effectively ending the tie. Madrid went on to win 5-0 on aggregate, then win the cup against Barcelona.
Diego Simeone will be looking for a strong home performance from his side, especially with the second leg at the Bernabéu. Atléti have little to no fear of playing Real Madrid on the road, but they'd also feel a lot better about things if they held a lead going into the second leg.
Madrid are coming off a shocking 2-1 loss against Valencia that saw Los Blancos' 22-match winning streak come to an end. If playing their bitter rivals wasn't enough motivation, bouncing back from that performance should provide more than enough.
Atléti defender João Miranda is again a doubt with continued hamstring issues, while Luka Modrić remains sidelined for Real Madrid. We should also see the debut of Fernando Torres for Atléti, who returned to the club this week from Chelsea. Torres began his professional career with Atléti, making 214 appearances over six seasons for the Colchoneros, and Simeone said he would play in this game.
How excited are Atléti fans about the prospect of seeing their former captain play his first game the club since 2007? 45,000 of them showed up at the Calderon for Torres' introduction over the weekend.
Atlético Madrid injuries and suspensions
In Doubt: João Miranda (hamstring)
Real Madrid injuries and suspensions
Out: Luka Modrić (hamstring)
Match Date/Time: Wednesday, 9 p.m. local, 3 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain
TV: beIN Sports (U.S. - English), beIN Sports en Español (U.S. - Spanish), beIN Sports (Canada), Sky Sports 5/HD (U.K.), Canal+ 1/HD/30, Canal+ Yomvi (Spain)
Online: beIN Sports CONNECT (U.S. & Canada), Sky Go (U.K.)