It has not been easy for Real Madrid to play against their neighbors ever since conquering the 2014 UEFA Champions League. In order for that to change, Los Blancos will need to get these 5 things done.
5 keys to a Real Madrid win
- Play with heart, courage and intensity. As soon as the referee kicked the last Derby off, it was easy to tell which team was going to win. Atlético were battling after every single ball and they ended up winning the game 4-0. Real Madrid must match Atleti's intensity if they want to stand a chance, there's no question about that.
- Stop Atlético's set pieces! Whenever things go wrong, Simeone and his men always rely on set pieces to make things easier. Godín and Miranda are always a threat, and Koke is one of the greatest players crossing the ball. Considering that Iker Casillas will be on goal, it will be very important for Real Madrid to mark the opposition well, as the Spanish keeper is not the best when the ball is in the air. Bonus track: Don't make silly fouls.
- Cool the atmosphere down by having control of the game. The Vicente Calderón will be hell for Real Madrid if Atlético have the ball and most of the chances. Real need to start the game playing with calm, keeping the possession and trying not to give away many goalscoring opportunities. Easier said than done, but don't let the Calderón fans play the game too.
- Gareth Bale must step his game up. The Welsh attacker has just recovered from a foot injury and will likely be defended by Jesús Gámez, who isn't a pure left-back and could struggle against Bale's pace. Gareth Bale needs to take advantage from Atlético's lack of quality in the left-back position, because that's possibly their only defensive weakness.
- Away goals! Real Madrid need to attack. Away goals are valuable and it would be extremely important to force Atlético to play the return leg needing to score. If Atlético manage to earn an advantage, it will be extremely difficult for Real Madrid to break their defensive wall at the Bernabéu.