When the Spanish la Liga publish the list of fixtures for the coming season there are several matches that all football fans will highlight in red, the first of course being El Classico when Real Madrid and Barcelona meet, but a close second, especially if you live in Madrid is the derby between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
Both teams are currently sitting with Barcelona at the top of the table unbeaten since the start of the season. Real Madrid have not lost any matches since new manager Carlo Ancelotti took over three months ago and Atletico’s coach Diego Simeone will come into the match full of confidence after his side have won all six matches so far this season.
Despite only luckily coming away with a 1-2 win over Elche midweek thanks to a dubious stoppage time penalty Los Blancos will be the favourites playing to a full house at the Santiago Bernabéu where the home fans should get to watch new world record signing Gareth Bale make his home debut.
Argentinian manager of Atletico, Diego Simeone says that the home team are the favourites also despite the Rojiblancos’ impressive start to the season he must be secretly thinking that his side is more than capable of upsetting Real especially after the form they showed in their last two matches against Gatafe and Elche.
Atletico is sitting joint top of La Liga two points above Real Madrid and will start the match with the memory of their famous 2-1 victory over Real last season in the Copa del Rey final which was held in the same stadium, and was the first victory over their bitter city’s rivals in 14 years.
Simeone however is playing down that historic victory saying: “Real Madrid are better than us and have a fantastic squad, so we’ll have to give 110 per cent”.
“Real Madrid have top players who can pop up to make the difference at any given moment, which is very difficult to prepare for. I expect Real Madrid to have the ball.
“Last season’s Copa del Rey win counts for nothing on Saturday. We go into the game with a lot of hard work under our belt and raring to do well. I don’t anticipate it being the same sort of match as last time.”
Do not let Simeone fool you by giving all the praise to Real Madrid having watched both teams play this season Atletico are more than capable of beating the Spanish giants who apart from the Champions League thrashing of Galatasaray 1-6 in Istanbul have appeared at times to be ordinary againt sides they should have easily beaten.
Kick of is at 9pm BST with the match being broadcast live on Sky Sports.