Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid: Preview, team news, line-ups...
Real Madrid take on city rivals Atlético Madrid in week 22 of the 2019/20 LaLiga season on Saturday afternoon (16:00 CET).
Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid: preview
Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid go into Saturday afternoon's 276th Spanish-capital derby (16:00 CET) in very different states of mind, it's fair to say. Hosts Madrid moved three points clear at the top of LaLiga with a hard-fought victory over Real Valladolid last weekend, and, in the wake of Wednesday's 4-0 Copa del Rey thumping of Real Zaragoza, have now gone 20 games unbeaten.
Atlético find themselves outside the Champions League places, on the other hand, and boss Diego Simeone has come under fire after three defeats and a draw in the last four in all competitions - a run that included a shoot-out loss to Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final and the embarrassment of Copa elimination by third-tier Cultural Leonesa. However, Atleti do go to the Bernabéu in the knowledge that it is seven years since they last lost away to their city rivals in the league...
Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid: team news
Eden Hazard hasn't recovered from his ankle injury in time for the derby, while Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has opted to leave Rodrygo Goes, Brahim Díaz, Mariano Díaz, Nacho Fernández and Gareth Bale out of his squad. Bale's absence comes despite the Welshman training as normal this week after overcoming an ankle knock, and means he has now missed six out of Madrid's eight games in 2020.
Atlético go into the clash at the Bernabéu with a lengthy injury list, with João Félix, Kieran Trippier, Santiago Arias, José Giménez, Koke and Diego Costa all unavailable to Simeone. On the plus side, however, Yannick Carrasco has gone straight into Los Rojiblancos' squad after rejoining from Dalian Yifang on transfer deadline day, and Thomas Lemar is back in selection contention after shaking off a hamstring strain.
Real Madrid confirmed XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy, Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Isco, Benzema
Subs: Areola, Militao, Marcelo, James, Lucas V, Jovic, Vinicius
Atlético Madrid XI: Oblak, Vrsaljko, Savic, Felipe, Lodi, Correa, Thomas, Saúl, Llorente Vitolo, Morata
Subs: Adán, Hermoso, Lemar, Carrasco, Toni Moya, Saponjic, Camello
What the coaches said:
"I don't understand the criticism of Simeone but it's what our job is all about. He's one of the best coaches around, he's always shown that - and the current situation doesn't change what I think about him, we all know the coach he is.
"We try and win every game, that we haven't beaten them [at home in LaLiga] since 2012... it's just what has happened for different circumstances. Tomorrow we have the chance to change that trend".
Diego Simeone, Atlético Madrid:
"Our opponents have come on leaps and bounds defensively in recent times - they're looking really strong in that department. We don't know exactly how they'll play; they have a depth of attacking personnel that gives them a lot of different options going forward. It's clear that it'll be a game decided by small details, so it's really important we use our heads."