Atletico Madrid welcomes Barcelona to Estadio Vicente Calderon tonight with Diego Simeone’s side hoping to overturn the 2-1 deficit carried over from the first-leg last week.
It was a match shrouded in controversy following Fernando Torres’ dismissal, and Atleti will hope to channel all feelings of injustice amongst both the squad and fervent home support into a performance of the highest quality that would seal a passage though to the semi-final.
While Rojiblancos head into the tie fresh from Saturday’s impressive 3-1 victory over Espanyol whilst Barcelona, in contrast, is on the ropes.
Successive La Liga defeats to Real Madrid and Real Sociedad have left the club’s form in tatters and Luis Enrique will need to galvanise his squad if they are to survive Atletico’s expected onslaught.
The Rojiblancos defence continues to be decimated by injuries as Jose Gimenez and Stefan Savic are both unlikely to feature once more with the pair suffering hamstring and foot injuries respectively.
Barcelona will welcome back Adriano after he was medically cleared following a hamstring complaint. Gerard Pique sat out Monday’s training session as a precaution but there isn’t thought to be any injury problem with the center-half.
Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen are both expected to miss out through injury.Fernando Torres is the only suspension for either side following his dismissal at the Camp Nou in the first-leg.
Barcelona has a fairly good record against Atletico this season with Luis Enrique’s team having recorded 2-1 victories over their adversaries from the Spanish capital in both league encounters.
The 2-1 Blaugrana win last week is the most recent meeting, however Atletico can look back to the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League campaign where they knocked Barcelona out of the competition at this very stage en route to the final in Lisbon.
Antoine Griezmann will be Atletico’s main attacking focal point in the absence of a resurgent Fernando Torres and with the home side needing to score at least one goal to progress, it is imperative Griezmann performs at his usual high standard.
Griezmann showed some signs of fatigue on Saturday but will be relied upon by his team to deliver when necessary this evening.