Real Madrid - Atletico Madrid Preview: Simeone's side out to break derby hoodoo
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
By Karthick Arvinth
Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao
Di Maria, Modric, Ronaldo
Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe
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.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid have won just three of their last six matches in all competitions (W3, D2, L1).
- 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 are on a five-match winning run across all competitions.
- Los Colchoneros have lost 17 of their last 23 meetings with Real, with the rest being draws.
- Atletico have 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.
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Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 3-1 Atletico Madrid
- 15.82 %
Real Madrid CF 1-2 Atletico Madrid
- 15.4 %
Real Madrid CF 2-1 Atletico Madrid
- 9.5 %
|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 18, 2013||Real Madrid CF 2 - CD Olímpic de Xàtiva 0||ESPC|
|Dec 14, 2013||Osasuna 2 - Real Madrid CF 2||LIGA|
|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|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
The Portugal captain could not prevent Real from slipping to a disastrous 1-0 defeat at Real Betis last weekend as he extended his scoreless run to three matches. The home side need the 2008 Ballon d'Or winner to deliver on Saturday as they look to claw their way back into the title race.
With 11 goals in 12 appearances in La Liga, the Colombia international hitman's incredible form has transformed Atletico into unlikely title contenders. It is early days yet, but if Falcao can maintain his scoring spree, Los Colchoneros will have realistic aspirations for the domestic crown.
Atletico have been in irresistible form and will rightly back themselves to get a positive result, but this is a bad time to travel to Real, who crashed to a damaging defeat at Betis last week. The defending Liga champions are a formidable force at home and might just edge this.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed