Madrid derby: Can Atletico derail Real with another Bernabeu win?
This weekend really is the sport-lover’s dream, with the Grand National, the Masters and the Premier League all vying for our attention. But there’s more, for there’s also the small matter of a Madrid derby.
The 214th El Derbi Madrileno takes place this Saturday, and there’s plenty to play for.
Real head into this clash with a two-point lead over Barcelona, but with a game in hand.
Atletico are out of the title race, but local pride and the chance to put a massive dent in their biggest rivals’ title hopes are reason enough to give it everything.
And with Real still to play Barca in the title-run in, victory for Diego Simeone’s men at the Bernabeu would blow the La Liga race wide open.
Both capital clubs head into this weekend’s contest having won their last five fixtures.
Real boss Zinedine Zidane will also be able to call upon a fully-fit and fresh BBC.
The Frenchman made nine changes for the midweek victory at Leganes, leaving both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale at home, while Karim Benzema was an unused sub.
It clearly worked a treat, with Real 3-0 inside 23 minutes en route to a 4-2 victory.
Atletico meanwhile, had to work hard for a 1-0 win at home to Real Sociedad, where both Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres played over 70 minutes.
But if there’s one thing Simeone’s men have in abundance, it’s spirit.
And impressively, that spirit is something Atletico have channelled to win each of their last three league visits to the Bernabeu. So can they do it again?
In a rare start on Wednesday, Alvaro Morata reminded Zidane of his abilities with a hat-trick, and it’s 9/2 he nets the opener this weekend.
Griezmann is Atletico’s best hope according to the bookies, with the Frenchman 6/1 to score first – just as he did in this fixture last season.
But with just one 0-0 in the last 37 meetings, don’t expect a stalemate.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing