Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid: 5 Factors that could decide the outcome of Madrid Derby
Atletico Madrid's next challenge in the league after a disappointing loss to Real Betis will be their neighbors Real Madrid. The Los Blancos should be relieved to have all the momentum after their string of good performances, notably against Sevilla and Barcelona.
Atleti, on the other hand, are lacking the confidence and momentum and they have themselves to blame. They got knocked out of the Cup thanks to Girona's spirited performance and they failed to close the gap on Barcelona last week.
The last 4 Madrid derbies have ended in draws, the longest ever run of draws between the teams. Atletico has failed to score in the last two Madrid derbies, but they haven't ever gone scoreless in three consecutive Madrid Derbies.
While fixture congestion is a problem for Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid is hit with a string of injuries. Saul, Koke, and Costa are all expected to miss the game on Saturday. With so much to ponder upon, here are five factors that could decide the game.
#5 Real Madrid's approach to the game
This is more or less the biggest reason. Why not Atleti's approach? They don't have any congestion in fixtures and their Champions League tie is in the week following the next. Real Madrid's approach will be the biggest factor in today's game. They are coming off a heated battle at the Camp Nou that saw the fielding of all their big players and yet only salvage a draw.
So what will Solari do here? Real Madrid are 9 points behind league leaders Barcelona and with a win, they could get that gap down to six assuming the Catalans lose. But is that enough? Six points would still be a big difference and that is assuming that Barcelona looses.
Solari cannot act according to the situation because they play before the Blaugrana. If Solari still believes he has a chance at the League then he will have to field a strong 11 against Atleti. If he does that then he will have a fatigued bunch of players against Ajax.
If Solari rotates freely allowing the main players to have a rest, we know that a loss against Atleti will not go down well at Madrid. The fans want to see their players give everything they got. Fatigue and stress would not be an excuse. So what will Solari do? Does he opine that they have lost the league and better would be to take a point out of this and go home? Or does he believe that they still have a chance and attempt to beat Atleti then beat Barca?
The answer inside Solari's head will be the key.