La Liga Preview: Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid
It is the Madrid derby as Jose Mourinho's side welcome their city rivals to Santiago Bernabeu in the hope of maintaining their impressive pace at the top of the standings
By Martin Macdonald
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 defence. 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 will be without star striker Radamel Falcao, who has failed to recover from a muscle injury picked up on international duty with Colombia.
One positive for the visitors was 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.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
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 have won all of their 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 have scored less than half the amount of goals that Real Madrid have notched up in La Liga this season, with 17 to their rivals' 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 their city rivals.
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Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 1-2 Atletico Madrid
- 18.57 %
Real Madrid CF 4-0 Atletico Madrid
- 14.37 %
Real Madrid CF 3-0 Atletico Madrid
- 13.3 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Sep 28, 2013||Real Madrid CF 0 - Atletico Madrid 1|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||May 17, 2013||Real Madrid CF 1 - Atletico Madrid 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Apr 27, 2013||Atletico Madrid 1 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Dec 1, 2012||Real Madrid CF 2 - Atletico Madrid 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Apr 11, 2012||Atletico Madrid 1 - Real Madrid CF 4|
|Real Madrid CF|
|Dec 10, 2013||FC Copenhagen 0 - Real Madrid CF 2||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||CD Olímpic de Xàtiva 0 - Real Madrid CF 0||ESPC|
|Nov 30, 2013||Real Madrid CF 4 - Valladolid 0||LIGA|
|Nov 27, 2013||Real Madrid CF 4 - Galatasaray 1||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Almeria 0 - Real Madrid CF 5||LIGA|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
Cristiano Ronaldo always wants to play and will certainly be peeved at remaining on the bench midweek when his team mates were out on the field creating a plethora of chances against Dinamo Zagreb. The Portuguese star will be itching to get back into the action and will certainly be hungry for goals. Is the biggest threat to Atletico in the Madrid derby.
Jose Antonio Reyes proved his value when he changed the match in favour of Atletico in the last La Liga match against Levante. The former Sevilla man has recently fallen out with manager Gregorio Manzano, which resulted in a omission from a couple of La Liga squads, but he has proved that he is one of the most influential members of the team, and with Radamel Falcao not 100% fit, he may be Atletico's best creative influence in the match.
Real Madrid have been imperious at home this season and have not let their city rivals record a win in over a decade. Jose Mourinho's side continued their impressive form midweek, scoring an impressive six goals against Dinamo Zagreb. This form is certainly a danger for Atletico, who have not been living up to expectations this season. Real Madrid should create plenty of chances in this match, and are likely to notch up a few goals. However, the two late goals conceded midweek prove that the Madrid defence can lose concentration at times, which is why Atletico need to be ruthless in their attacking.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed