MX23RW : Monday, October 21 08:23:09| >> :600:33577596:33577596:
Sep 29, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 78,642
Real Madrid
AtleticoAtletico Madrid

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

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's Madrid derby between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Capital rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will meet for the 163rd time in the league on Saturday night, with the Bernabeu hosting the latest instalment of the Madrid derby.

Real have been dominant in this fixture over the years, but the European champions will enter this match off the back of a shock 3-0 defeat at Sevilla on Wednesday night, and have struggled at home against their rivals of late.

Real Madrid

Marco Asensio celebrates scoring for Real Madrid on September 22, 2018© Reuters

Real Madrid were handed a huge boost ahead of their trip to Sevilla on Wednesday night, with the reigning champions Barcelona suffering a 2-1 defeat at Leganes. As a result, a draw for Los Blancos would have been enough to see them top the division entering the clash with Atletico on Saturday night.

Julen Lopetegui's side were second-best by a considerable distance against Sevilla, however, with a 3-0 home success certainly not flattering Pablo Machin's team. It was Real's fourth straight league defeat at the Estadio Ramon, although not many would expected it to be that comfortable.

As a result, Real Madrid will enter this weekend's match in second position in the table, level on points with Barcelona. Atletico have had their own problems in the early weeks of the campaign, but Diego Simeone's side are third, and sit just two points behind the top two as things stand.

Los Blancos did not really need to break a sweat in the early weeks of the 2018-19 La Liga season as they beat Getafe, Girona and Leganes to pick up nine points. Lopetegui's side were then held at Athletic Bilbao, but returned to winning ways last weekend with a 1-0 home success over Espanyol.

Real might have won 86 of their 162 league matches with Atletico, but they suffered a 4-2 defeat to their bitter rivals in the UEFA Super Cup earlier this season. Both La Liga fixtures between the pair last season finished level, meanwhile, with a goalless draw at the Wanda Metropolitano followed by a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu.

Real have incredibly not beaten Atletico at the Bernabeu in a La Liga match since the 2012-13 campaign. Indeed, Simeone's side have won on three of their last five visits, and stayed unbeaten in the process.

It might be early in the season, but there is no question that Real are under pressure to triumph this weekend. For all of their European success in recent years, Los Blancos have only won the La Liga title twice in the last 10 years, which is simply not good enough for a team of their standing.

Recent form: WWWDWL
Recent form (all competitions): WWDWWL

Atletico Madrid

Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring for Atletico Madrid on September 25, 2018© Reuters

Atletico could have been forgiven for thinking that their patchy start to the season would have already put them out of the title race, but dropped points for Barcelona and Real Madrid means that is simply not the case.

Indeed, Simeone's side currently sit third in the table on 11 points, and are only two points off the summit. That is despite dropping points in half of their six matches this term. The capital outfit have put three wins on the board, but have also drawn twice and lost once in the early stages of the 2018-19 La Liga season.

Atletico picked up a decent point at Valencia in their first match of the campaign, before edging past Rayo Vallecano on August 25. Simeone's side then lost at Celta Vigo at the start of this month, but have drawn with Eibar, and beaten Getafe and Huesca in their last three matches in Spain's top flight.

Goals have been hard to find in the early stages of the season, with just eight netted in their six matches. Diego Costa is yet to get off the mark in La Liga this term, while Antoine Griezmann has only managed two.

As mentioned above, however, Atletico know what it takes to win at the Bernabeu. Indeed, that is something they have managed on three of their last five visits, and the Red and Whites have not suffered a defeat away to Real Madrid in the league since the 2012-13 campaign. The last two fixtures between the pair at the Bernabeu have ended in 1-1 draws.

Atletico have certainly looked more like themselves in the last two matches, and a victory at the Bernabeu this weekend would lead them nicely into fixtures with Real Betis, Villarreal and Real Sociedad in the league next month. Atletico also opened their 2018-19 Champions League challenge with a 2-1 victory at Monaco on September 18, and will therefore bring a three-game winning streak into this match.

The 2013-14 La Liga champions will once again look to frustrate Real Madrid this weekend, and then hope that the likes of Griezmann and Costa can come up with something special in the final third of the field.

Recent form: DWLDWW
Recent form (all competitions): WLDWWW

Team News

Real Madrid midfielder Isco celebrates scoring during his side's Champions League clash with Roma on September 19, 2018© Reuters

Real Madrid boss Lopetegui has a number of injury concerns ahead of the match, with first-choice full-backs Dani Carvajal and Marcelo both expected to miss out for the home side.

Carvajal has missed his team's last two league games with a muscular problem, while Marcelo picked up a hamstring injury during the latter stages of the defeat to Sevilla.

As a result, summer arrival Alvaro Odriozola should come into the team at right-back, with Nacho switching to the left.

Isco will also miss out after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis, meaning that Marco Asensio will again join Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in the final third of the field.

As for Atletico, Juanfran missed the 3-0 win over Huesca on Tuesday night, but the Spaniard should return at right-back, while Lucas Hernandez is in line to replace Filipe Luis on the opposite side.

Simeone has decisions to make further forward when it comes to which four operate behind Costa and Griezmann.

Koke and Saul Niguez should both start, while Thomas Lemar and Thomas Partey are also expected to be selected, which would leave the likes of Gelson Martins and Rodri Hernandez in reserve.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Odriozola, Ramos, Varane, Nacho; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Benzema, Bale

Atletico possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Juanfran, Gimenez, Godin, Hernandez; Lemar, Saul, Thomas, Koke; Griezmann, Costa

Head To Head

Saturday will bring the 163rd league meeting between Real and Atletico. Los Blancos lead the head-to-head 86 wins to Atletico's 39, with the other 37 fixtures finishing level.

Four of the last five league meetings between the pair have actually finished level, including both matches last season.

Atletico recorded a 4-2 win over Real in the UEFA Super Cup earlier this season, however, and are unbeaten on each of their last five visits to the Bernabeu in Spain's top flight.

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We say: Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid

We are finding it hard to separate the two teams this weekend. There is huge pressure on Real Madrid following the defeat to Sevilla, but Atletico know what it takes to pick up a positive result at the Bernabeu.

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Who will win Saturday's Madrid derby at the Bernabeu?

Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid
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Sergio Ramos in action for Spain on September 2, 2017
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