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Real Madrid face key home leg against neighbours Atletico - Butragueno

Real Madrid have been Atletico Madrid's kryptonite in the UCL, as another Madrid derby is set for the semifinals.

Real Madrid's director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueno has said past meetings will have no bearing on the Champions League semifinal against Atletico Madrid.

Real have won two dramatic finals against their city neighbours, in 2014 and 2016, and also eliminated them in the 2015 quarterfinals, while this season's La Liga meetings ended in a Real victory at the Vicente Calderon and a draw at the Bernabeu.

And Butragueno told beIN SPORTS: "Each year is different, each game different. We know each other very well.

"Atletico take advantage of mistakes very well, have good forwards and a very solid defence which concedes very few goals. In these ties just one play can decide it -- your concentration must be perfect.

"We know that you could pay very dearly for all mistakes."

Real host the first leg at the Bernabeu on April 2, with the return at the Vicente Calderon -- where Atletico have not conceded in their last nine Champions League knockout games -- the following Wednesday.

Butragueno said: "In theory playing the second game at home can be an advantage, but it depends on the result from the first leg.

"We must be very firm at home and get a good result so we can defend it at the Calderon.

"We must play two great games, and if we can do that we will have our chance to go through, no doubt."

He said that although both sides faced three La Liga games before the semifinal -- with one of Real's being the weekend Clasico against Barcelona -- the occasion of the Champions League would overcome any fatigue.

"The competition is so prestigious and important that it obliges the players to be at their best to reach the final," he added.

"They will be two very intense, competitive games. Atletico give you nothing, so we must be at our best. We trust in our players, who have given us so much joy recently."

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan


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