Mon, 06 Dec 2021

MADRID, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid are both in UEFA Champions League action on Wednesday night in important matches for their European future.

Real Madrid travel to Moldova to face Sheriff Tiraspol, who produced arguably the shock of the tournament so far when they won 1-0 in the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of September.

Despite that setback, Real Madrid are now top of their qualifying group, although another defeat to Sheriff would leave qualification hanging on the last group match at home to Inter Milan.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti has taken every available player to Moldova, although Gareth Bale, Fede Valverde, Dani Ceballos and Eden Hazard have remained in the Spanish capital.

Atletico have a more difficult task ahead of them if they want to reach the knockout stages of the tournament after their two recent defeats to Liverpool.

Diego Simeone's men currently sit third in their group with just four points from four games and need to beat AC Milan on Wednesday night, while hoping that Liverpool, who are assured of progression as group leaders, beat Porto.

The good news for Simeone is that striker Antoine Griezmann is available after his two-game suspension for a red card against Liverpool in the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium was reduced to one game, which he served in their subsequent defeat at Anfield.

Marcos Llorente will be able to play at right-back, but Joao Felix is still a doubt due to a calf strain that kept him out of Saturday's narrow win at home to Osasuna.

Even if Atletico do win on Wednesday, depending on Porto's result against Liverpool, they may still need to either win or draw their last group game in Portugal in order to reach the last 16.

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