Tuesday, April 23

Real Madrid host Atletico in tough derby test

Real Madrid will welcome capital rivals Atletico Madrid, one of the most awaited matches at The Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Saturday night.

The hosts are fourth, six points behind Atletico champions, who also have a game in hand. But unlike Real Madrid Diego Simeone’s side have made an excellent start to the 2020-21 season.

There was a lot of pressure on Real Madrid and indeed head coach Zinedine Zidane when the Spanish champions lost back-to-back matches. Los Blancos were losing ground in the league at that time and were also in danger of being excluded from the Champions League group stages.

However, they picked up a 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League. Zidane’s side managed to pick up a massive 1-0 victory away from Sevilla in the league last weekend as well. Real Madrid can now completely focus on league problems.

Since February 2016, Real Madrid have been undefeated against Atletico in the league. And they have been victorious in two of their last three encounters in Spain’s top flight.

Atletico are absolutely soaring, having posted seven straight wins, including a 1-0 victory over Barcelona. Simeone’s side, without conceding a single goal, actually won their last four matches in the league. The Red and Whites are just one point ahead of second-placed Real Sociedad at the top.

Many see the capital giants as the favorites for this season’s crown. And it is hard to disagree because of the issues their bitter rivals and Barcelona undoubtedly have.

Real Madrid have been facing injury problems since the start of the season. Martin Odegaard is a huge doubt but Sergio Ramos made his return against Gladbach on Wednesday night. Dani Carvajal was on the bench, and the two players are expected to be in the home side’s starting XI for this match.

Luka Jovic is also still on the sidelines with a muscular problem. As for Atletico, Jose Gimenez, Diego Costa and Manu Sanchez remain on the sidelines through injury.

Possible Starting Lineup:

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Vinicius, Benzema, Asensio

Atletico Madrid : Oblak; Savic, Felipe, Hermoso; Trippier, Llorente, Koke, Saul, Carrasco; L Suarez, Felix

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