All eyes will be on Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid on Sunday afternoon. The crosstown rivals will collide in the Madrid derby at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium and the result could have a big bearing on the title race.
Atletico Madrid can seize further control in title race
Atletico have been formidable all season, and they warmed up for the visit of Real with a 2-0 win away to Villarreal last weekend. Jan Oblak pulled off a series of great saves for Atletico, but a Pedraza own goal and a fabulous volleyed effort from João Felix secured all three points for Simeone’s charges.
As things stand, Atletico have a game in hand over their arch-rivals, and they are five points clear at the top of the table. Atletico last lifted the La Liga title in 2013, are keen to topple the duopoly once more.
- Atletico Madrid to beat Real Madrid @2.7 with Casumo
- Both teams to score @1.92 with Casumo
Simeone could be handed Kieran Trippier boost for Madrid derby
Simeone has been without Kieran Trippier, as the full-back has been serving a 10-week ban for a gambling-related offence. However, he has now resumed training with the first team squad. Jose Gimenez and Yannick Carrasco, meanwhile, missed the win over Villarreal, and the Real clash may well have come too soon for them.
Simeone continues to make history with Atleti
Having taken over 10 years ago, Simeone has given Atleti an identity, and they have made excellent progress under his tutelage. In 512 matches, Simeone has chalked up 308 wins. This betters the record of Atleti coaching great Luis Aragones, who racked up 308 victories in 612 games during his several spells in charge of the club.
Felix’s ‘rebellious’ goal celebration pleases Simeone
Simeone can be rather fiery, and this seems to have passed onto his players. Felix put his finger to his lips before shouting in Portuguese in the direction of the Atleti bench after scoring against Villarreal. Simeone admitted after the game that he loves it when players ‘rebel’, but it will be interesting to see how Felix celebrates if he scores against Real!
Real have opportunity to blow open title race
Atletico are currently holding all the cards in the title race, but a Real victory could turn things on its head. Although Zinedine Zidane’s men have only tasted defeat once in their past six outings, they needed a late equaliser from Vinicius Junior to rescue a point against Real Sociedad at home.
Compared to Atletico, Real have been more leaky at the back as they have conceded 20 goals this term, and they have scored four goals fewer than their rivals. One of Real’s main problems this term has been their inability to take their chances in front of the goal.
- Luis Suarez to score anytime against Real Madrid @2.43 with Casumo
- Atletico Madrid to score first and win the match @3.00 with Casumo
As far as past meetings go, things weigh heavily in Real’s favour as they haven’t lost to Atleti in the league for five years, either home or away. In the corresponding fixture earlier this season, Real ran out 2-0 winners.
Real keeping close eye on Karim Benzema progress
With just a few days to go until the Madrid derby, Zidane will be desperate for Karim Benzema to return. The French hitman – who has hit 12 La Liga goals this term – has sat out the last three matches for Los Blancos with an ankle injury, and his absence has been sorely felt.
Although Vinicius Junior popped up with a late goal against Sociedad, the goals haven’t flowed for the Brazilian this term. Zidane admitted he had to ‘change the dynamic’ after an hour against Sociedad. But Real need Benzema back to inject more energy into their attack.
Odds subject to change