It may only be an ICC match, and it may be played thousands of miles from home at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, but local pride is on the line as Real Madrid meet city rivals Atletico on Friday.
After losing their opening friendly of the summer to Bayern Munich, Zinedine Zidane’s side responded by overcoming Arsenal on penalties in a fiery encounter that saw two red cards and ended 2-2 through 90 minutes.
Similarly, there were two dismissals in Atleti’s outing against Guadalajara, which ended 0-0 Tuesday, with the Spaniards winning the subsequent shootout.
These fixtures are never mere friendlies, but who will come out on top?
|Game||Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid|
|Date||Friday, July 26|
|Time||01:06am BST / 8:06pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the US, the match will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. It can be streamed via ESPN+.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|ESPN / ESPN Deportes||ESPN+|
In the UK, the match will be shown on Premier Sports 1 and available to stream on Premier Sports HD.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Premier Sports 1||Premier Sports HD|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Real Madrid squad|
|Goalkeepers||Courtois, Navas, Lunin, Altube|
|Defenders||Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Odriozola, De la Fuente, Javi Hernandez|
|Midfielders||Kroos, Modric, Isco, Seoane, Fidalgo|
|Forwards||Mariano, Benzema, Bale, Lucas V., Vinicius Jr., Hazard, Jovic, Rodrygo, Kubo|
Marco Asensio faces missing much of the season following a serious knee ligament injury sustained in the second half against Arsenal. Additionally, Ferland Mendy is out with a calf problem and joins Brahim Diaz (thigh) on the sidelines.
Only red cards for violent conduct and serious foul play are punishable by a one-match suspension in this competition, so Nacho is free to feature, despite his dismissal against the London side. Luka Jovic will start after being sacrificed early to bring on another centre-back.
Casemiro will join up with the squad when they return to Spain.
Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Marcelo, Nacho, Ramos, Odriozola; Kroos, Modric, Isco; Hazard, Jovic, Vinicius Jr.
|Position||Atletico Madrid squad|
|Goalkeepers||Oblak, Adan, Dos Santos|
|Defenders||Lodi, Savic, Hermoso, Trippier, Isaac, Montero, Sanchez|
|Midfielders||Koke, Saul, Lemar, Llorente, Herrera, Vitolo, Sanabria, Moya, Reche|
|Forwards||Morata, Correa, Felix, Saponjic, Costa, Camello|
Joao Felix will make his second appearance for Atletico Madrid in this clash, despite not making the bench against Chivas.
It has been confirmed that Marcos Llorente can play the derby, despite being sent off versus the Mexicans. His dismissal was not for serious foul play or violent conduct.
Jose Jimenez and Thomas Partey have not made the squad after international commitments this summer.
Atletico XI: Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Hermoso, Lodi; Saul, Koke, Joao Felix, Lemar; Costa, Morata
Betting & Match Odds
Real Madrid can be backed at 21/20 to win this match at Bet365 . A draw is priced at 11/4 while an Atletico Madrid victory is 9/4.
After finishing third behind city rivals Atletico Madrid in the 2018-19 La Liga table, Real Madrid have an early opportunity to reassert their dominance over their neighbours when they play an ICC match on Friday.
The whole of the previous campaign was disappointing for Los Blancos, and Zinedine Zidane and his staff are working to ensure that they do not suffer such trauma this time around.
The signs after their initial fixture with Bayern Munich were not good; not only did they lose 3-1, but the performance was of a disappointing standard.
Zidane, though, can be much happier with his side’s display against an Arsenal side that has been in good touch this summer. When Nacho was sent off after nine minutes and Madrid fell 2-0 down, alarm bells were ringing, but the Gunners were also reduced to 10 men before the break and goals from Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio, who was subsequently seriously injured, levelled the game.
“We started really well and then we lost a player early on. We kept going positively with 10 against 11 and even better still when it became 10 against 10. We put on a good display and drew level in the second half,” the Frenchman reflected.
“We're still in the preparation phase and we know our play will get a lot better.”
‘Zizou’ has been repeatedly keen to stress that results are not the most important thing at this point in the summer, despite the importance that fans may place upon the weekend’s match.
“We're just getting things ready and we have to think about the players' health. We worked well in Montreal, now we're here for three games and we're keen to look after the players and share out the minutes evenly,” he added.
Just as Real are returning for the new season with a fresh look, so too are Atleti, and armed with a raft of eight new additions, head coach Diego Simeone is similarly looking for more than just victories in the USA this summer.
“What we value beyond the result is working towards an objective, we don't want the change of players to generate a different atmosphere,” he explained. “The new players have to be prepared to work like the old ones did, they need to see what the team needs from them.”
So far, the integration process has gone reasonably well for Atleti, who defeated Numancia 3-0 in Spain before flying to the States, where they picked up a victory on penalties over Chivas, despite going down to 10 men midway through the first half.
The winning spirit so readily associated with Simeone’s side is still clearly present, and is sure to be evident in the derby, which is bound to be one of the more hotly contested ICC clashes of the summer.