Atletico Madrid welcome Bayern Munich to the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday night for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
Diego Simeone’s Atleti reached this stage with a 3-2 aggregate win against Barcelona, and have since reeled in the Catalan club in La Liga as well – a run of five straight victories has tied the two teams at the top of the table.
Visitors Bayern, meanwhile, also have a challenge on the domestic front, requiring just three more points to seal the Bundesliga title, before facing Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal final.
Their progression, too, required a nervy 3-2 success, instead against Benfica, as Pep Guardiola looks to end his three-year spell in Germany with the continent’s most coveted prize.
And though the five-time European champions boast attacking firepower in the form of Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, each with eight goals in this season’s competition, they won’t have it all their own way against the Spanish outfit.
Atleti are widely considered to have one of the best defences in Europe, conceding just five goals in 10 Champions League games this term, and 16 in 35 in La Liga.
Simeone will hope his side can reproduce their last-four performance from two years ago, when a second-leg 3-1 success at Chelsea was enough for a place in the final, as they again operated a tight ship – only letting in six goals.
Bayern, though, won the competition a season earlier, and should test Atleti’s strong back-line, having netted 28 times in 10 matches en route to this game.
The teams’ only previous meetings were in the 1974 European Cup final; Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck levelling late on for the Germans to force a replay, where they ran out 4-0 winners.
Atleti have been hit by the loss of defensive stalwart Diego Godin, who limped out of last week’s narrow win at Athletic Bilbao.
The Uruguayan was replaced at the weekend by 20-year-old Lucas, who is expected to deputise again, while Fernando Torres should start up front, having netted five in his last six.
Bayern, however, have been boosted at the back by the return of Jerome Boateng after a three-month absence.
The World Cup winner was injured at Hamburg in January, but is in the squad for this crucial clash.
Former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben, though, is still out with a thigh injury.
League Position: Atletico Madrid – 2nd (La Liga – 82 pts); Bayern Munich – 1st (Bundesliga – 81 pts)
Previous Meeting: Atletico Madrid 0-4 Bayern Munich (European Cup – May 17, 1974)
Form: Atletico Madrid – LWWWWW; Bayern Munich – WWDWWW
Key Men: Atletico Madrid – Antoine Griezmann; Bayern Munich – Thomas Muller
Shoot Says: Atletico Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich