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Zidane: “Atlético Madrid are favourites to win LaLiga”

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Also spoke about Marcos Llorente’s development.

Real Madrid v Borussia Moenchengladbach: Group B - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The first Madrid Derby of the season is here and Zinedine Zidane previewed this weekend’s match against Atlético Madrid in a press conference held on Friday. With Atleti currently six points ahead and with a game in hand, Zidane was asked if Diego Simeone’s men are favourites to win the LaLiga title this season.

He replied: “Yes, for sure. That’s what they’re showing. They’re doing things well and competing. They’ve always been competitive and they’re first right now. What interests us is what we’re going to do. It’ll be a good game of football and one that fans have marked in the diaries and one that the players want to play. What we want in each match is to show what team we are, without thinking about whether we’ll win the league title. We want to win each match. We’re competitive.”

Zidane was asked what he makes of Atlético Madrid’s new formation in 2020/21, with three centre-backs, and if he thinks this new-look Atleti will make life more or less difficult than in previous derbies. He said: “I don’t know if it’s better or worse. We don’t know what team they’ll play. I think Atleti is a team that competes very well and they have done for a long time. That’s what I expect.”

With regards to Simeone, Zidane was asked which quality of the Argentine’s he’d like to adopt for himself. He stated: “Each coach has their ways. Each one is who they are. I can’t be someone else and the others can’t be someone else either. When I did my coaching course, I was told ‘you have to be you’. Simeone is a great coach and I try to do my work as I can.”

Zidane was then asked about two specific players, one of them being Marcos Llorente. On his new position and his great form, Zidane said: “I’m not surprised. He’s a top-level player and he’s showing a new aspect to his game that he maybe didn’t have at Real Madrid. But, I knew he had a lot of quality and he’s showing it. I’m happy for him.”

Then, he was asked about Isco and his lack of minutes in the big matches that the team have played of late. The coach said: “I understand that he’s not getting many minutes. But, the situation is like this. It’s particular to right now. There are many good players here and it’s always tough for the coach to pick which ones to use.”