Derby Madrileno this weekend will be more decisive than ever in the title race this season. With only five point margin, any results would affect either side’s chance to win La Liga plus Barcelona which is lurking on the corner and ready to take advantage of their encounter, especially if the game ends in a tie.
Both teams’ previous games
Atletico returned to their winning ways last weekend after crushing Villareal 2-0 on the road. The opener was a bit of luck for Los Rojiblancos as Alfonso Pedraza inevitably touched the deflected ball into the back of the net. Yet, Joao Felix doubled the lead afterwards.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, stumbled again at home while hosting Real Sociedad. Los Blancos conceded first by Portu’s bullet header into the far corner of the post and had to wait till 89th minute for an equaliser by Vinicius Junior. It’s their fifth draw of the season.
Diego Simeone’s 3-4-2-1 starts to settle in the team’s system. Luis Suarez is still the main scorer supported by the Argentine Angel Correa and Joao Felix behind him. the former Monaco man, Thomas Lemar can come off the bench to break the deadlock when necessary. On their injury table, three names will be on the sideline, Jose Gimenez, Kieran Trippier and the Belgium international Yannick Carrasco.
Zinedine Zidane is still having a headache about who should feature upfront with the limited figures in the squad since Karim Benzema is still ruled out for this fixture alongside Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard and Eder Militao. He is believed to keep opting for 4-3-3 formation with Isco as the false nine accompanied by Vinicius Jr and Marco Asencio on both flanks.
Players to watch
The former Barcelona forward, Luis Suarez has bagged 16 goals plus provided two assists this season. Some other vital figures in the squad are the versatile Marcos Llorente who has notched up eight goals and seven assists and Joao Felix contributing seven goals and four assists.
Zidane will have to count on Vinicius Jr and Marco Asencio, who are expected to step up to occupy the frontman role. They have only netted three and two goals each, which is rather unconvincing. Another key man to watch is the top assist provider, Toni Kroos who would be dangerous during the set pieces scenario.
Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid Prediction
Ideally, there will be trading decent chances and goals but considering the frontman crisis in Los Blancos, the visitors are unlikely to initiate the attack. Raphael Varane and Co will be more pragmatic and waiting for the set pieces or swift counter attack. The clash will be more of a tactical battle instead. Therefore, a draw seems more likely here.