The Wanda Metropolitano: Atlético's 12th man in the derby
The Wanda Metropolitano is an impenetrable fortress. I don't know what's going to happen in the derby on Saturday but this time, some of the focus will be on what's happening in the stands. In both of the Champions League finals between Atleti and Madrid, both rojiblancos and madridistas showed a great level of sportsmanship - a mutual respect which deserves acknowledgement. Hopefully that will continue - even while the cost of tickets to these derby clashes continues to be exorbitant. Of course, Álvaro Morata will also be the centre of attention, but I still think the home crowd's going to play an important role this weekend. Looking at the attendance figures for this season, Atlético have averaged 90% of full stadium capacity - the best turn-out numbers in LaLiga - outstripping the average attendances at both the Bernabéu and Camp Nou by some way.
Tribute to the great Calleja
Courtois insists that he is relaxed about the prospect of facing his old club and he'll know what to expect from atlético fans - the same fans who have been there, through thick and thin all the way through the campaign - win, lose or draw. On top of all of that, this particular derby will have another added ingredient - one that's just as important as the game. It will serve to pay homage to a club legend - Isacio Calleja, the great captain who defended Atleti's colours for 14 seasons. During the minute's silence, I'm sure I'm going to shed a tear as I look to the heavens. And a word of warning to Solari: this Atlético, with their people behind them have the best home record of any side in LaLiga - we've yet to be beaten and have dropped just four points at the Wanda since the season started.