5 reasons why the Madrid derby might disappoint
The Madrid derby is among the most anticipated matches in football, but fans might be left disappointed this time for multiple reasons.
After the final international break of 2017, league football continues this weekend with many fascinating games taking place across Europe. There's the North London derby in England and in Italy, Roma and Lazio will play out the first Rome derby of the season.
However, the most talked about matchup will probably be the Madrid derby in Spain. Atletico and Real will face off for the first time after the latter beat their city rivals in May on their way to a second consecutive Champions League title.
The Madrid derby often provides many talking points, but this time there is also a high probability that it will disappoint. Here are five reasons why that might happen.
#5 Both sides in poor form
When Real won the Spanish Super Cup in August, beating Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate, it looked they will be running off with the La Liga title. Instead, the roles have reversed. After 11 rounds played Barcelona is topping the table with an 8-point edge over both Madrid sides. Surprisingly, Valencia have turned out to be their biggest challenger so far.
Real, who lost just three league games in total last season, are already limping in the title race after two losses and winning only half of their six home matches. Valencia and Levante robbed two points from them at the Bernabeu and Betis even managed to beat them with a late goal, their first win at the home of the European champions since 1998.
The other defeat came at the end of October as promoted Girona embarrassed Zinedine Zidane and his men with a 2-1 home win. Across all competitions, Real have suffered two defeats in their last three outings. The form is far from ideal as they are set to face their city rivals.
Atletico haven't done much either. Diego Simeone's team actually is one of only three sides still unbeaten in Spain, but they have drawn a lot of games in the process. Five to be exact. They've also played out consecutive draws in the Champions League against minnows Qarabag, a disappointing outcome considering their prolific performance at the tournament in recent years.
With both teams struggling with form, it's quite possible that the football on show on Saturday won't be of the highest quality.