MX23RW : Thursday, April 15 05:41:22| >> :60:1557:1557:
Mar 7, 2021 at 3.15pm UK at Vicente Calderon Stadium
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
1-1
Real MadridReal Madrid
Suarez (15')
Carrasco (64'), Correa (72'), Felix (80'), Savic (90'), Llorente (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Benzema (88')
Varane (67')

Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

One of the standout fixtures on the La Liga calendar will take place at Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday afternoon as Atletico Madrid welcome Real Madrid for the Madrid derby.

Atletico are currently top of the table, five points clear of third-placed Real Madrid, while Diego Simeone's side still have a game in hand over both Los Blancos and second-placed Barcelona.


Match preview

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone pictured on February 13, 2021© Reuters

Atletico have been excellent in La Liga this season, winning 18, drawing four and losing just two of their 24 matches to collect 58 points, which has left them in a strong position at the top of the table.

As mentioned, Simeone's side have a five-point advantage over both second-placed Barca and third-placed Real Madrid and also have a game in hand over the two sides, which could prove decisive.

Atletico actually had a wobble in the league between February 8 and February 20 as they won just one of their four matches, suffering a shock 2-0 home defeat to Levante in their last match at Wanda Metropolitano.

The capital giants returned to winning ways in impressive fashion last weekend, though, as an own goal from Alfonso Pedraza and second-half Joao Felix effort saw them record a 2-0 victory away to Villarreal.

Atletico Madrid's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring against Cadiz in La Liga on January 31, 2021© Reuters

The Red and Whites are bidding to win their 11th La Liga title and first since 2013-14, and there is no question that they have been the best side that Spain's top flight has to offer this season.

Simeone's side are the second-highest goalscorers behind Barca, netting 47 times in their 24 matches, with 16 of those coming from Luis Suarez, who has proved to be an inspired signing for the club.

Defensively, meanwhile, Atletico have again been excellent, conceding just 16 times, which is unsurprisingly the best record in Spain's top flight ahead of Sevilla, who have shipped just 18 goals.

The 10-time Spanish champions are in charge of the title race, but it would be fair to say that they have work to do in the Champions League, having suffered a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

A win for the home side in this game might well end Real Madrid's hopes of retaining the title, but a draw or a defeat would certainly open the door for Los Blancos, while Barca, who travel to Osasuna on Saturday night, will also believe that they are capable of catching Atletico in the coming weeks.

Real Madrid's Ferland Mendy celebrates scoring against Atalanta BC in the Champions League on February 24, 2021© Reuters

Real Madrid, as mentioned, currently occupy third position in the table, having picked up 53 points from their 25 matches this season courtesy of 16 wins and five draws.

Zinedine Zidane's side have struggled during periods of the season and will enter this match off the back of a 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad on March 1; Portu's 55th-minute goal looked to be securing all three points for the visitors, only for Vinicius Junior to level the scores in the 89th minute.

Los Blancos are in good form, though, winning five of their last six in all competitions, including four of their last five in Spain's top flight to pull themselves into the title picture at this stage.

The Spanish champions are also in a strong position to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League, having recorded a 1-0 win over Atalanta BC in the first leg of their last-16 tie on February 24.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane pictured on February 14, 2021© Reuters

Injuries have been a big problem for Real Madrid in recent weeks, but they have managed to negotiate through a difficult period with an impressive set of results, and a relatively kind run of matches will see them face Elche, Celta Vigo and Eibar in their next three league encounters after this one.

The club are struggling due to the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak, and it is difficult to imagine them having the funds to sign a Erling Braut Haaland or a Kylian Mbappe this summer.

Eden Hazard is again on the sidelines through injury, and there is no getting away from the fact that the Belgium international has struggled since his big-money move from Chelsea; Karim Benzema has contributed 12 league goals this season, but the Frenchman is battling to be available for this contest.

Real Madrid's away form this season will certainly give them reasons to be optimistic, having picked up 28 points from their 13 matches, suffering just one defeat. However, Atletico have the best home record with 29 points from 12 games and will be looking to inflict a huge blow on their bitter rivals.

Atletico Madrid La Liga form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Atletico Madrid form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W

Real Madrid La Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Real Madrid form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D


Team News

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema in action against Real Sociedad in La Liga on September 20, 2020© Reuters

Atletico are again expected to be without the services of central defender Jose Gimenez due to an adductor injury, but the home side should be boosted by the return of Yannick Carrasco, who has recently been on the sidelines with a foot problem.

Kieran Trippier is also available, having served a 10-week betting suspension, and the England international is being tipped to feature in the starting XI for the Madrid derby.

Felix could be given the nod over Angel Correa to start alongside Suarez in the final third of the field, while Saul Niguez is expected to edge out Thomas Lemar to feature in the middle of the park.

As for Real Madrid, Hazard, Mariano Diaz, Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos are all unavailable through injury, while Benzema is a doubt as he battles an ankle problem.

Los Blancos have recently been boosted by the returns of Federico Valverde, Marcelo and Rodrygo Goes, though, and all three players are available for selection in the Madrid derby.

Zidane could decide to revert to a midfield four for this game, with Valverde joining Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric behind a front two, which is expected to include Benzema, with the Frenchman taking part in Friday's training session for the reigning champions.

Vinicius could be rewarded for his goal against Real Sociedad with a spot alongside Benzema in attack, meaning that Marco Asensio is likely to drop down to the bench.

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Felipe, Hermoso; Trippier, Llorente, Koke, Saul, Carrasco; Felix, Suarez

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Vazquez, Nacho, Varane, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde; Benzema, Vinicius


Head To Head

There have been a total of 226 matches between these two teams in all competitions, with Real Madrid leading the head-to-head record 112 wins to Atletico's 56.

Los Blancos have been victorious in 89 of their 167 matches in La Liga, losing 39 times, while they have also won the last two league meetings between the two sides, including a 2-0 success in the reverse game at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium in December.

Atletico have not actually beaten Real Madrid in the league since a 1-0 success at the Bernabeu in February 2016, although there have been plenty of draws in recent years, with the pair sharing the points in five of their last eight encounters in Spain's top flight.


SM words green background

We say: Atletico Madrid 1-1 Real Madrid

This is a very, very difficult match to call for obvious reasons, and there is simply no downplaying the importance of the contest to both sides. Atletico have managed to recover a number of key players for this game, which should hand them an advantage, but Real Madrid's injury situation is improving and a returning Benzema could help them claim a point at Wanda Metropolitano.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


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Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior celebrates scoring against Real Sociedad in La Liga on March 1, 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico MadridAtletico30207352203267
2Real Madrid30206453242966
3Barcelona30205569264365
4Sevilla30194744242061
5Real Sociedad301211747311647
6Real Betis30145114043-347
7Villarreal301113643331046
8Granada30116133650-1439
9Levante30911103739-238
10Celta Vigo30910114148-737
11Athletic Bilbao30910113933637
12CadizCadiz3098132745-1835
13Valencia30810123742-534
14Osasuna30810122536-1134
15Getafe3079142234-1230
16Huesca30512133145-1427
17Real Valladolid30512132741-1427
18ElcheElche30511142746-1926
19AlavesAlaves3059162447-2324
20EibarEibar30411152236-1423

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