Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to return from injury to play Saturday. Diego Costa is unlikely to start, though is expected play at some point during the match. Ronaldo has been burdened by leg injuries over the past two months but said Tuesday he would be available to play in his first Champions League final for Madrid. Costa has also endured leg setbacks and, after hobbling off against Barcelona last Saturday, sought treatment from a specialist in Belgrade using horse placenta. Ronaldo's return will bolster Madrid's already potent attack with Gareth Bale set to start. But striker Karim Benzema appears to be doubtful with a hamstring injury. Madrid centerback Pepe is also a game-time decision (Source: The Associated Press).
Adam Pretty/Bongarts / Denis Doyle
Who will replace Real's Xabi Alonso?
Xabi Alonso's absence deals an important blow to Madrid's midfield. The Spain international has been one of Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti's most important players this season, but a yellow card in the semifinal win over Bayern Munich has left him suspended. Either Sami Khedira, Asier Illarramendi or Casemiro is likely to fill the void and take responsibility for opening up Madrid's attack and breaking up Atletico's buildups (Source: The Associated Press).
Alex Livesey / Helios de la Rubia / ODD ANDERSEN/AFP
Matter of numbers
Saturday's match represents the most important Madrid derby after 194 league and Spanish Cup games. Madrid has the advantage with 102 victories to Atletico's 46. Atletico only ended a 14-year winless run against Madrid in all competitions last season when it won the Copa del Rey at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Atletico has won and drawn the two league encounters since, while Madrid easily won a pair of Copa del Rey matches against Atletico en route to the domestic cup title. The pair have met in the European Cup once before — in 1959, when Madrid needed a replay to emerge victorious (Source: The Associated Press).
Getty ImagesGonzalo Arroyo Moreno
Atletico's X-factor: David Villa
Villa's experience should prove invaluable to an Atletico team short of Champions League experience, especially if Diego Costa's availability is in doubt Villa is the only regular in the squad who has played in a Champions League final before, scoring in Barcelona's 3-1 triumph over Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in 2011 (Source: The Associated Press).
AFP/Getty ImagesCESAR MANSO
Carlo Ancelotti has been able to get Real Madrid where Jose Mourinho never could, and now the Italian coach is one win away from matching Bob Paisley with his third European Cup. Ancelotti, who also won two European Cups as a player, secured the Champions League at AC Milan in 2003 and '07, leaving him on the verge of matching the former Liverpool manager's record number of titles. Diego Simeone could become just the third non-European coach to win the trophy. The only other two were also Argentine — Real Madrid's Luis Carniglia in 1958 and '59 and Helenio Herrera of Inter Milan in 1964 and '65 (Source: The Associated Press).