Real Madrid will play Atletico Madrid on Saturday night in a difficult matchup following their thrilling comeback victory over Liverpool in the ongoing Uefa Champions League.
In Anfield, the Los Blancos shocked most viewers, beating Liverpool 5-2, having one foot in the quarter-finals.
The Madrid derby however poses a different challenge. Atletico have been their sworn neighbouring rivals for years on end and know Carlo Ancelotti’s side well.
The defending La Liga champions will want to put further pressure on Barcelona, who currently lead the league with an eight-point advantage, having a total of 59 points.
The Los Blancos are placed second on the league log with 51 points.
Due to their shaky start to the season, Atletico Madrid, who are currently fourth in the standings, have come under a lot of scrutiny. They have secured 41 points out of the 22 matches they have played.
Los Rojiblancos have found little success at the Copa Del Rey and European competitions. Nonetheless, it appears that their main focus right now is la Liga.
A victory in the derby will relieve some of the burdens on the team and the manager, Diego Simeone, whose continuity has been questioned recently.
They will draw motivation from the tight 1-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao last weekend.
Both David Alaba and Rodrygo were said to have suffered injuries in the Liverpool match and would miss the Madrid derby. David Alaba will miss at least a month of action, compared to a maximum of 10 days for Rodrygo.
Due to a hamstring injury, Ferland Mendy continues to be a long-term absentee and will miss this fixture. His recovery will determine his availability.
The good news is that Mariano Diaz and Aurelian Tchouameni can both compete in this match after recovering from muscle issues and illness respectively.
Although Diego Simeone will be much relieved and given a major boost by Stefan Savic’s comeback after serving a match ban, Thomas Lemar and Rodrigo de Paul will both be sidelined for this match due to injuries.
All other participants in this showcase are healthy and prepared.
WHEN AND WHERE:
Venue: Santiago Bernabéu
Kick-off: 5:30 pm local time.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Nacho; Camavinga, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius
Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup: Oblak; Molina, Savic, Hermoso, Reinildo; Llorente, Barrios, Koke, Carrasco; Griezmann, Morata
By: Egyir Papa Kwamena