La Liga Preview: Real Madrid - Atletico Madrid

It is the Madrid derby as Jose Mourinho's side welcomes its city rival to Santiago Bernabeu.



Diarra, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo
Xabi Alonso, Sahin
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo

Silvio, Miranda, Dominguez, Filipe
Suarez, Thiago, Diego,
Reyes, Adrian, Arda Turan

Real Madrid will be without Ricardo Carvalho, who is still recovering from a back injury. Jose Mourinho had a full squad in training on Thursday but different intensity levels of work were present throughout the squad. Kaka and Alvaro Arbeloa are still struggling with injury and trained separately from the squad.

Meanwhile, Brazilian left back Marcelo returned to training after three weeks out with a thigh strain and may be in line to start in defense. Angel Di Maria is also near full fitness after recovering from his hamstring injury and looks likely to feature against Atletico.

Cristiano Ronaldo is also expected to return to the starting lineup after he was left on the bench for the 6-2 win over Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday, while Nuri Sahin may make his full league debut after impressing in the Champions League rout.

Gregorio Manzano and Atletico Madrid are still sweating over the fitness of star striker Radamel Falcao, who is battling to be fit after picking up a muscle injury on international duty with Colombia.

One positive for the visiting side is the return of the influential Jose Antonio Reyes to the squad for the win against Levante. The former Arsenal man previously had a disagreement with coach Manzano but after his impressive substitute appearance last weekend, it appears that he is back in the frame for Atletico.

  • The last match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid ended in a 2-1 victory for Jose Mourinho's side. Karim Benzema and Mesut Ozil scored in that fixture to see their side seal a derby win in March 2011.

  • Madrid has won all of its games at home this season, while averaging 4.25 goals per match in the Spanish top flight in 2011-12.
  • Mesut Ozil completed his first 90 minutes for Real Madrid in this season's La Liga in last weekend's 3-2 win over Valencia.
  • Atletico Madrid has scored less than half the amount of goals that Real Madrid has notched up in La Liga this season, with 17 to its rival's 42.
  • Colombian striker Radamel Falcao is Atletico's top goalscorer this season, with seven goals.
  • It has been over a decade since Atletico recorded a victory over its city rival.
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