Table-toppers Real travel to Atlético for 204th Madrid derby, champions Barcelona visit Getafe: 2019-20 La Liga matchday-7 preview
After six matchdays of the 2019-20 Spanish La Liga, record 33-time champions Real Madrid, who beat Osasuna 2-0 at home on matchday-6, lead the league table for the first time since the opening day of the season. Defending champions Barcelona responded to their worst start to a Liga season in 25 years by beating Villareal 2-1 at home to climb from eighth to sixth in the table.
On the seventh matchday of the season, Madrid travel to the Wanda Metropolitano to face cross-town rivals Atlético for the 204th installment of the Madrid derby, while Barcelona visit Getafe.
Here is a preview of the matchday-7 Liga games for Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Real Madrid are unbeaten in the Spanish top-flight after six matchdays. The record 33-time champions have two wins and a draw from three games at home and as many on the road.
On matchday-7, Los Blancos travel to cross-town rivals Atlético for the 204th installment of the Madrid derby (excluding friendlies). In 164 previous Liga meetings between the two sides, Madrid have been on the winning side on 89 occasions, losing 39 times.
In 82 previous visits to the home of Atlético, Madrid have triumphed 35 times and lost on 24 occasions. Madrid have not lost a Liga game at Atlético since a 0-4 reverse in 2014-15 which ended the 13-times European champions' 13-game unbeaten run at the home of their cross-town rivals.
Karim Benzema of Madrid is the top-scorer in the Liga this season, with five goals (beside Real Betis' Loren Morón and Villareal's Gerard Moreno).
Benzema (three goals) leads a group of five Madrid players (Bale and Marcelo - two apiece, Ramos and Casemiro - one apiece) to have scored a Liga goal against Atléti. In the present squad, Real captain Sergio Ramos has the most derby goals (6) against Atléti in all competitions (two each in the Copa Del Rey and the UEFA Champions League, and one goal apiece in the Liga and the UEFA Super Cup).
Benzema and Bale have been the form players for Madrid this season, and with new signing Eden Hazard, would look to carry the bulk of Madrid's attacking threat against Atlético at the Metropolitano. In fact, there may not be too many better places outside the Bernabéu, for Hazard to score his first goal for the club and announce his arrival to the Madrid faithful.
Ramos' 38 appearances for Real Madrid in the Madrid derby is bettered only by the duo of Francisco Gento and Manolo Sanchis. Adelardo Rodríguez has the most derby appearances (35) for Atlético.
Luka Modric, Isco and Marcelo could feature in the game for Real Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano after the trio resumed training following injuries.
Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid) and Álvaro Morata (Atlético Madrid) are two of 30 players to have played for both clubs.
Defending champions Barcelona are without a win on the road this season, following a 2-2 draw at Osasuna interspersed between a 0-1 loss at Athletic Bilbao on the opening weekend and a 0-2 reverse at Granada on matchday-5, which marked the club's worst start to a Liga season in 25 years.
On matchday-7, the 26-time Liga champions travel to Getafe. In 28 previous meetings between the two sides, Barca have emerged the winners on 20 occasions, while losing only twice (both times away from home).
Last season, Barca did the 'double' over Getafe, winning 2-0 at the Camp Nou and 2-1 at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. Since suffering a 0-1 loss at Getafe in 2011-12, Barcelona have won on 5 of the 6 following trips to the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez.
Lionel Messi is the all-time La Liga top goal-scorer and has scored 13 Liga goals against Getafe. But the diminutive Argentinian is unlikely to feature in the game at the Alfonso Pérez after limping off the field with an adductor injury, in his first Liga game of the season against Villareal in midweek.
Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembélé are expected to return to the starting line-up against Getafe but Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba are unavailable due to injuries. Along with Griezmann and Suarez, Dembélé would form Barca's attacking trident against Getafe, in the absence of their talismanic captain Messi.
Dembélé's return to the XI could mean that sixteen-year-old sensation Ansu Fati, who has scored two Liga goals this season, would start on the bench.
New signing, Antoine Greizmann, with three goals, is Barca's leading scorer in the Liga this season. The Frenchman, who is one of 5 Barcelona players to start all six games, would look to provide the inspiration for the Catalan club up front. Goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, is expected to start his seventh Liga game, where he would look for his and Barcelona's first cleansheet of the season.
Against a team which has drawn four of their opening six Liga games, Barca would fancy their chances of picking up their first away win of the season.