The Madrid Derby is back as Real Madrid travels to the Wanda Metropolitano to take on city rival Atletico Madrid.
The last time the Derby was played this season Los Blancos were able to defeat Atleti by a score of 2-0 at the Di Stefano in December.
This is a vital match to any of Real’s title hopes this season as the club sits third in the league table trailing Atletico by five points. Atletico still has a match in-hand to play, which will also affect the standings at some point. Real has won four of its last five matches and drew its last match against Sociedad.
Atletico has started to slip up a bit as the club has only won two of its last five matches. The club also has two draws and a loss in this stretch of play.
Real has been the more dominant team in this rivalry recently. Real is the only La Liga club that has not lost a league match at the Wanda. Real has also not lost to Atletico in the last nine league matches played between these two rivals. Atleti has also not scored in the last three matches against Los Blancos.
Real Madrid will be without Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard and Mariano. Karim Benzema has returned after missing the last three matches.
Atletico will be without defender Jose Gimenez. Kieran Trippier returns to the Atletico squad from injury.
There are no suspensions for either club in this edition of El Derbi.
Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Felipe, Hermoso; Carrasco, Koke, Llorente, Lemar; Correa, Suarez
Courtois; Vazquez, Nacho, Varane, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Rodrygo, Benzema
Lucas Vazquez has been given the start at right back over the available Alvaro Odriozola.
Benzema steps back in as the starting striker while Rodrygo gets the start on the left wing over Vinicius. Both he and Fede Valverde will be available as substitutions.
Atletico Madrid—Real Madrid 1-2
This will be a crucial match, as all Madrid Derbies are. This one comes with an even bigger circumstance as Real is not that far from distance when it comes to trailing Atletico in the league table.
Getting Benzema back is big, but this will likely not be a high-scoring match as Atletico has only conceded 16 goals this season—the least of any La Liga club this season.
This is the best possible time for Real to play this derby as Los Rojiblancos are arguably having the worst stretch of their season. Atletico does have the depth advantage as the club can bring on the likes of Geoffrey Kondogbia, Saul and Joao Felix.
The three points available are essential if Real Madrid intends on actually catching up to Atletico at some point. The club must bring forth its best effort as it has in the last stretch of matches played against Atletico in La Liga.
Real knows how to beat Atletico on away and will look to do it once again as the club hopes to take another leap in the standings and start putting even more pressure on it’s city rival’s title hopes.