Zidane and the BBC vs Simeone and the old guard

Zidane surprised us yesterday at the press conference, declaring that he was unsure about his position on the bench. " I'm not planning for the summer," he announced suddenly. It was a shock. But of course, he witnessed first-hand what happened to Ancelotti, and therefore it is logical that he is prepared for what could happen. He knows that if he doesn't win anything, the same thing will happen to him. Florentino, who moves with such discretion in other matters, doesn't hold back when it comes to the team managers, of whom he can tire very quickly. Zidane's Madrid has a shot at LaLiga and the Champions League and he is, at least, a 'primus inter pares' (first among equals), but even so the Frenchman is not convinced he'll stay on.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane surprised a few ahead of the game.

BBC not the Champions League factor

LaLiga is going to be played out at home. For the Bernabéu they will have Atlético paraded today then Barça on Sunday 23 April. It seems inevitable that the BBC is going to play, whose goal production has shifted so much that the imbalance no longer compensates for their lack of efforts to close down their opponents. I often hear, when having this debate, that Madrid won in Lisbon and Milan with the BBC. Look closer: the three were in the starting line-up, but they weren't playing at the end. In both games Benzema was taken out. Madrid drew in Lisbon with Morata and Isco, and in Milan it was Isco and Lucas Vázquez on the pitch to take the heat out of Atlético. We need to look at things in detail.

Simeone's side coming into the derby in decent form.

The return of the old Atlético

There are fewer disagreements regarding Atlético. Cholo has recovered them from their lean spell and from the question marks. His team has been shored up with his classic old guard, the players and the model that have put Atlético where they are. Signings were made to play with more artistry and less steel, but it has not borne fruit. Atlético have returned to their rules: a strong and firm team, that doesn't take risks, that makes it difficult for the opposition and punishes every mistake. This has allowed them to regain third place in a blink of the eye, devouring the twelve point gap to a dejected Sevilla. Today they will come out looking to dominate the centre of the park. We will see if Zidane can find a way to sidestep them.

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