Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid: Preview, Team News, Form Guide, Prediction, and Betting Odds
The city of Madrid smells blood in the water today as two of it’s biggest clubs Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid battle it out in El Derbi madrileno at the Santiago Bernabeu to earn the bragging rights in the Spanish capital.
The crosstown rivals are separated by just a point in the Liga standings, as the Blancos sit third with 54 points whilst Rojiblancos are just a point and position ahead. Both teams lost ground in the race last time out as the sides could only manage a draw in their respective outings, and a similar result today would certainly spell the end of their title tilt as leaders Barcelona would go 10 points up with only 12 games remaining.
The first Madrid derby of the season ended honors even at the Calderon as a late strike from new boy Luciano Vietto cancelled out Karim Benzema’s early opener. The tie is expected to similarly close this time as well, as the race to the finishing line is heating up.
Here’s you guide to the enticing clash between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
Kickoff and Telecast
Date and Time: 27th February – 08:30 PM (IST)
Live Telecast: Sony Kix
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
Hosts Real Madrid will be buoyed by the return of striker Karim Benzema and left-back Marcelo back in the team, but will continue to miss the services of Gareth Bale (calf) and Pepe (foot).
As for Atletico, the visitors will have to travel without Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Tiago, whilst Stefan Savic is also doubtful for the clash after picking up a calf problem against PSV in the midweek.
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric, Isco; Ronaldo, James, Benzema
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Oblak; Juanfran, Godín, Giménez, Luís; Saúl, Augusto, Gabi, Koke; Vietto, Griezmann
Los Blancos are having another dismal league campaign. Trailing arch-rivals Barcelona by 9 points in third, La Liga looks as good as over for the Madrid giants. In a season of embarrassment, their latest setback was a disappointing 1-1 draw at Malaga last Sunday as Real continued to be poor away from home.
Although they’ve been a different kettle of fish at the Bernabeu, their credentials will be given a stern test by the visit of their neighbors. Should they win, it’ll be one of the few highlights of their otherwise forgetful campaign. Should they lose, they’d kiss goodbye to the league title yet again.
Last 5 games: W-W-W-W-D (Last result: Malaga 1-1 Real Madrid)
Speaking of Los Indios, their league campaign has faltered in the recent weeks. After being held to a goal-less draw by Sevilla, they lost out to Barcelona the following week. And after picking up back-to-wins against Eibar and Getafe, dropped further points after being held to another goal-less stalemate, this time by Villareal.
Atletico have been a much-improved side from last year, but their form has gone downhill in the recent weeks.
Last 5 games: L-W-W-D-D (Last result: PSV Eindhoven 0-0 Atletico Madrid)
- Real Madrid have won only one of the last 9 Madrid derbies.
- Three of the last 5 Madrid derbies in all competitions have ended all square.
- Atletico Madrid have won their last 2 league games at the Santiago Bernabeu.
- Atletico Madrid have been beaten just three times away from home this season.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 15 goals in the Madrid derby and needs 2 more to be the all-time highest scorer.
Diego Godin vs Karim Benzema
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema returns to the line-up after sitting out of the last game, and will spearheading the hosts’ attack. The Frenchman has enjoyed one his more prolific years at the club, having struck 19 times in 19 league appearances this season and will take some scoring burden off Ronaldo’s shoulders.
The 29-year old is a great poacher, clinically finishing the chances landing at his feet. The visitors must avoid the mistake of giving him spaces to run in and obstruct the supply lines to him. The man entrusted with the task is Atletico skipper Diego Godin, one of the best centre-backs of the season.
The towering Uruguayan has been through the thick of the things for his side and his defending nous will be crucial in shutting out Benzema.
It will be an intense affair no doubt. But the side that comes out more solid at the back may hold the edge. Expect the visitors to keep things tight at the back once again, but home comfort may see Real through. Albeit, by slightest of margins.
Predicted score: Real Madrid 2-1 Atletico Madrid
Betting Odds (bet365)
Real Madrid – 4/5
Draw – 13/5
Atletico Madrid – 15/4