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Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid: 5 key battles to watch out for

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3.36K   //    17 Nov 2017, 17:32 IST

Real Madrid CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final
Zidane's Real Madrid side will be hosted by Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid

A fiercely contested derby is a sight to behold, and Saturday, the 18th of November, sees two of Madrid's biggest clubs go head to head in what is promising to be an intriguing battle between the two sides.

Real Madrid haven't been in the best form lately, and find themselves 3rd in the league on 23 points. They find themselves 8 points behind eternal rivals Barcelona, with losses to Real Betis and newly promoted Girona and draws against Valencia and Levante.

Atletico Madrid haven't fared very well this season either. Los Colchoneros are currently 4th in the table, and level on points with Real Madrid. Their goalscoring form has taken a hit in the past few weeks, and they have scored only 4 goals in the last 5 games.

Real Madrid have historically dominated the fixture, but recent years have seen an upturn in Atletico's fortunes. Both sides have surprisingly struggled to break defences down this season, and need to regain some form before it is too late.

Saturday's derby is sure to be a well contested match, with several underperforming star players on either side out to prove a point. Let's have a look at 5 intriguing personal battles that are set to take place on the pitch come Saturday:

#5 Juanfran vs Marcelo

Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final
Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final

Often overlooked in a Real Madrid side filled with attacking talent, Marcelo is one of their most potent threats going forward. The left-back has a nearly telepathic relationship with Ronaldo and has set up several of his goals in the past. Marcelo hasn't been at his marauding best this season, and will need to up his game against Atletico Madrid.

The Brazilian will be up against former Real Madrid youth academy product, Juanfran. Juanfran has been an integral cog in Diego Simeone's defence, bailing the team out by thwarting danger on many an occasion. Juanfran has, as always, been a solid presence at the back for Atletico Madrid this season.

Juanfran is an apt match for Marcelo, who is beginning to find his feet against on the offensive side of the pitch after scoring a thunderous goal for Brazil during the international break.

Marcelo has had the better of the Spaniard in the past and will look to regain some form. Juanfran is no pushover, however, and Marcelo will not have the easiest of games against the experienced campaigner.

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