Saturday, 28 September 2019
Real Madrid will be looking to continue their strong start to the league with a mouth-watering derby clash against Atletico.
Following their third straight win, Real moved to the top of La Liga, one point above their Saturday rivals who sit in second. Los Blancos remain unbeaten after six games winning their last match 2-0 against Osasuna.
To the joy of coach Zinedine Zidane, teenagers Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo provided the goals as he looks to regularly rely on the young talents in attack.
This will be the first meeting of the Madrid rivals after a fiercely contested 7-3 humiliation of Real in the International Champions Cup in pre-season in a game that will be remembered for flared tempers.
Besides being a league topping decider, this fixture also pits one of the best scoring sides against one of the meanest defences as they both seek to unseat back to back champions Barcelona from their perch.
Atletico will be counting on their fortress the Wanda Metropolitano as they hope to make it 3 clean sheets out of three. The Colchoneros have lost just one of their last 23 La Liga games at home keeping a clean sheet in 15 of them. Their only defeat in that run was against Real earlier in the year.
Alvaro Morata received two yellow cards in succession to receive his matching orders in Atletico’s midweek win over Mallorca meaning he is suspended for the match against his former side.
Diego Simeone is expected to continue his ultra defensive set-up against the 13 time European champions. His side has scored 7 goals so far with young sensation Joao Felix providing excellent support to Diego Costa.
Both combined to score against Mallorca with Costa netting his first of the season.
Against Osasuna, Zidane did the unexpected, leaving his top scorer Karim Benzema, big summer signing Eden Hazard, first chioice keeper Thibaut Courtois and defenders Dani Carvajal and Raphael Varane on the bench.
Real managed two back to back clean sheets for the first time this season and with their main defenders rested midweek, they will be hoping for a continuation of the trend.
Hazard in particular is yet to get into his groove that earned him a transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu as he struggles to fill Cristiano Ronaldo’s giant boots.
Luka Modric who is back in training, after making just two appearances this season, could feature against the hosts. Luka Jovic, who had a goal ruled out by VAR last time out, will start from the sidelines with the regulars of attack returning to their positions in the starting XI.
Zidane has concerns at left back with Marcelo and Ferland Mendy unavailable for their last fixture.
Head to Head:
Atletico have been victorious in 7 of the previous 11 wins between the sides, winning 4 of the prior 6 at home
Under 2.5 goals looks highly likely