The first El Derbi of the LaLiga season starts on Saturday. It’s also the first meeting of these two rival clubs since they faced off in the UEFA Super Cup, where Real went on to lose 4-2 in extra time.
Real are coming off a very disappointing 3-0 loss to Sevilla this past Wednesday, their first loss of the season. Atlético are coming off a Tuesday 3-0 win over Huesca. The two clubs are close to each other yet again so far in the league table. Barcelona and Real are both in the same positions, 1st and 2nd, as both lost their midweek matches. Atlético are in 3rd with 11 points, just 2 behind Real now and tied with Alavés.
For Real, they are looking to have a huge bounce back from the Sevilla loss. Since Real are back at the Bernabéu, this should help them boost their confidence a bit. Atlético have already lost twice in LaLiga, not quite getting off to a roaring start as of yet.
Isco will likely miss because of his appendicitis surgery, he was released from the hospital a few days ago but likely not ready for action yet. Marcelo is the newest addition to the injury list, after suffering a calf injury against Sevilla. Carvajal is back in training, but still no guarantee he will start.
Atlético are still without Stefan Savic.
There are no suspensions for either club in this match.
Courtois; Odriozola, Varane, Ramos, Nacho; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Asensio, Benzema
Should Carvajal still not be ready, Odriozola will likely start in his place while Nacho fills in for the injured Marcelo. With Isco still out, Asensio will likely start yet again on the right wing. Courtois will likely keep starting in goal unless Lopetegui feels it necessary to start Navas in El Derbi.
Oblak; Juanfran, Giménez, Godin, Filipe Luis; Lemar, Rodri, Saúl, Koke; Griezmann, Costa
2-2 Real Madrid-Atlético
El Derbi the last few matches in LaLiga has ended in a draw, this match may be no different. After a crushing loss in Seville, Real need to get some points. They can’t expect Barcelona to lose again when they take on Bilbao on Saturday. They also can’t afford to let Atlético jump them in the standings already.
Sevilla was their first real tough matchup so far, this will be even more tough. A draw isn’t great, but it’s obviously more favorable than an outright loss. Clearly, there’s hope Real can get some revenge for the Super Cup and they can secure all 3 points at home.
The defense has to be much better than they were against Sevilla, they looked completely lost on Wednesday. While Marcelo made a lot of defensive mistakes, his loss to injury is still a huge blow to Real’s play. Ramos has to be much better too.
El Derbi is always a fun matchup. We’ll either be happy or miserable by the end of Saturday’s bout, but that’s what the beautiful game is all about. Real need to prove they can hang with the big boys of LaLiga and not just good at beating up on the weaker LaLiga sides. And, of course, they need points this early on.