The MetLife Stadium in New Jersey will host arguably one of their most enticing International Champions Cup fixtures of the whole summer on Friday as Real Madrid prepare to lock horns with Atletico Madrid.
Madrid's preparations for the 2019-20 campaign started with a 3-1 defeat to Bayern last weekend. Zinedine Zidane's side actually played quite well for long periods of the match, but the German champions scored twice in the space of two second-half minutes to effectively end the game as a contest.
Los Blancos then fell two goals behind to Arsenal in their last match, with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both scoring after Nacho had picked up an early red card. Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio both came off the bench to score, though, before the Spanish giants triumphed on penalties.
Bale was left out of the clash with Bayern amid the speculation surrounding his future. The Wales international impressed off the bench against Arsenal, though, and it has been suggested that a truce has now been called between the 30-year-old and his head coach.
It has been a tough start to pre-season for Eden Hazard, with the big-money arrival from Chelsea struggling to make his mark thus far. The Belgium international has only played two 45 minutes, but will certainly be keen to raise his performance against Atletico as the new campaign draws ever closer.
Fellow summer arrival Luka Jovic was handed his first start against the Gunners, but Nacho's early red card for a handball meant that the attacker had to be replaced in the early stages. Ferland Mendy was impressive at left-back, though, while Rodrygo Goes scored a stunning free kick in the team's clash with Bayern.
The win over Arsenal came at a huge cost, though, with Asensio picking up a serious knee injury. The Spaniard could be on the sidelines for the next nine months recovering, which has led to suggestions that James Rodriguez could be brought back in from the cold despite the speculation surrounding his future.
In terms of what is ahead, Zidane's side will face Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals of the Audi Cup on July 30 before either a final or third-placed playoff against Bayern or Fenerbahce. The team will then begin their La Liga season away to Celta Vigo on August 17, where a strong start will be demanded by the fans.
Madrid have incredibly only won La Liga once since 2012 and although their recent success in Europe has dampened some of the criticism, the club's spending in this summer's transfer window means that a strong title challenge will be expected during the 2019-20 campaign.
Recent form: LWLLLW
As mentioned, Atletico opened their preparations for the new season with a 3-0 win over Numancia last weekend. The match saw a number of players make their debuts for the capital giants, including Kieran Trippier and Joao Felix. What's more, fellow summer arrivals Ivan Saponjic and Felipe were both on the scoresheet.
Diego Simeone's side then played out a goalless draw with Guadalajara in the International Champions Cup earlier this week before winning on penalties. Trippier again started at the back for Atletico, but there was no spot for Felix as the big-money arrival limped out of his debut against Numancia.
It has been a busy summer for Atletico in terms of incomings and outgoings. Indeed, Felix, Marcos Llorente, Mario Hermoso, Trippier, Felipe, Renan Lodi, Saponjic and Hector Herrera have all arrived. Antoine Griezmann has been the high-profile departure, but Luis Hernandez, Rodri, Gelson Martins, Luciano Vietto and Bernard Mensah have all been sold.
Filipe Luis, Diego Godin and Juanfran have all left on free transfers, meanwhile, which is another indication of the size of the turnaround at the Wanda Metropolitano. It is very much a new era for the club, who will once again be hoping to be Barcelona's strongest challengers for the Spanish title next season.
Indeed, the capital giants have finished as runners-up in La Liga in each of the last two campaigns, while they have not been outside of the top three since the 2011-12 season. Losing Griezmann will undoubtedly make Atletico weaker in some aspects, but the club have been incredibly active in the transfer market.
Atletico will face the MLS All-Stars in their next pre-season game before taking on Atletico San Luis and Juventus in their final two friendlies of the summer. Simeone's side open their league campaign at home to Getafe on August 18 and a strong start will be required as Barca are expected to fly out of the blocks.
Performances and fitness are more important than results at this stage of pre-season, but Simeone will be wary of the fact that he must quickly shape a team to be ready for the middle of next month. Indeed, it is going to take time for the likes of Felix to settle in a new league, while they have lost a lot of goals through Griezmann's sale.
This summer's International Champions Cup has produced a number of excellent matches and Friday's encounter should be no different as the capital rivals prepare to lock horns in New Jersey.
Recent form: LDDLWW
Asensio has been ruled out for Madrid after picking up a knee injury against Arsenal. Meanwhile, key midfielder Casemiro is still unavailable after representing Brazil at this summer's Copa America.
As for Atletico, Felix was injured on his debut against Numancia and is a doubt to face Los Blancos. A number of new signings are expected to be on display, though, including both Trippier and Hermoso at the back.
Experienced Mexican Herrera could also come into the middle of the park with Saul Niguez switching to a wide position, while Koke and Felipe are also options for Simeone in the International Champions Cup fixture.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric, Isco; Hazard, Benzema, Vinicius
Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Hermoso, Lodi; Saul, Llorente, Herrera, Lemar; Costa, Morata
Head To Head
Madrid recorded a 3-1 win over Atletico in the last meeting between the two teams, which occurred at the Wanda Metropolitano in La Liga back in February.
Four of the last five league meetings between the two sides have finished level, though, including a goalless draw at the Bernabeu in the early stages of the 2018-19 campaign.
The pair have not locked horns in the Champions League since 2017, while they have not faced off in the Copa del Rey since January 2015.
Atletico's last win over Madrid was in the UEFA Super Cup last August, but Simeone's team have not overcome their great rivals in Spain's top flight since February 2016.
We say: Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid
It is difficult to predict what type of match will occur due to the nature of the contest. The recent meetings between the two teams have been tight, though, and we are expecting a low-scoring draw in this one.
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