Two weeks later, the Spanish Liga BBVA is back with a really interesting Day 3 that will feature confrontations between the four top teams last season. Tomorrow, at 16:00 CET, FC Barcelona (2nd) will receive Athletic de Bilbao (4th) at the Camp Nou, while the current champions Atlético de Madrid will visit the Santiago Bernabéu to face Real Madrid (3rd) four hours later.
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For the third time in four weeks, which makes the seventh in year 2014, Real Madrid face their neighbours from Atlético de Madrid in a terribly important game for both contenders. The colchoneros will try to get a good result out of the Santiago Bernabéu, just like they did back in August, in the Spanish Supercup's first leg (1-1), or last season (0-1). Although he won't be sitting on the bench, Simeone confirmed today that his team will play as they use to in order to neutralize the speed of Real Madrid's collective play with their defensive intensity and concentration. Their lineup is more or less clear, since the only unknown is Mandzukic's companion at the frontline, which could be Griezmann, Jiménez or Arda Turan.
On the other side, Real Madrid need a convincing victory to dispel all the fears that were unleashed after their unexpected defeat at Anoeta but, most importantly, to keep track of FC Barcelona on the table. Carlo Ancelotti is having a hard time to find the celebrated balance that won us two titles last season, and tomorrow's game will be a great test to see whether he's been able to come up with new ideas or not. As he confirmed in press conference, the lineup is not yet decided, but we won't be seeing any player out of a natural position.
No matter who the chosen players are, expect a tough game tomorrow, and this will likely be favoured by the referee Mateu Lahoz, well known by his permissiveness towards hard play. Nevertheless, it seems like he has trying to polish his refereeing style lately in order to become a more standard judge, but the truth is that it has only made him more irregular, so it is hard to predict how he will act tomorrow.
- Goalkeepers: Casillas, Navas, Pacheco.
- Defenders: Arbeloa, Ramos, Varane, Pepe, Marcelo, Coentrao, Nacho.
- Midfielders: Bale, Kroos, James, Illarramendi, Isco, Modric.
- Strikers: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Chicharito Hernández.
Projected lineup: Navas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Illarramendi, Modric, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.
TV Information: Canal + 1 (Spain), beIN Sports (USA), Sky Sports 5 (UK), Others.
Prediction: 2-0 for Real Madrid, with a brace by Cristiano Ronaldo.