La Liga Preview: Real Madrid - Atletico Madrid

Los Rojiblancos have not beaten their crosstown rivals since 1999 but head into the 258th Madrid derby eight points clear of Jose Mourinho's charges in the Liga standings.


Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao
Khedira, Alonso
Di Maria, Modric, Ronaldo

Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe
Gabi, Suarez
Koke, Costa, Turan

Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol will miss Saturday's crunch meeting with Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. The defender suffered an ankle injury in the 3-0 Copa del Rey win over Alcoyano and joins Gonzalo Higuain, Marcelo and Michael Essien on the sidelines.

Coach Jose Mourinho is likely to recall all his big guns for the clash but will have to choose between Mesut Ozil and Luka Modric to fill the creative midfield role.

Thibaut Courtois has recovered from a bout of illness and will start in goal for Atletico. Winger Cristian Rodriguez (thigh) is almost certain to miss out, but Mario Suarez is available after serving a one-match suspension.

  • Real Madrid has won just three of their last six matches in all competitions (3-1-2).
  • Los Merengues have averaged 3.3 goals in their six home Liga fixtures this season - the highest in the Primera Division.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured, right) has scored five goals in his last two appearances against Atletico Madrid.
  • Atletico Madrid is on a five-match winning run across all competitions.
  • Los Colchoneros have lost 17 of their last 23 meetings with Real Madrid, though, with the rest being draws.
  • Atletico has not held this big a lead in the points table over Real heading into a Madrid derby since the 1995-96 season, when the former went on to win La Liga.
  • Ronaldo (12) and Radamel Falcao (11) have the second- and third-most goals in La Liga, trailing only Lionel Messi (19).