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Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets. Real won 2-0 when these sides met in December and are nine La Liga matches unbeaten against Atletico.

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Atletico Madrid host Real Madrid at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday evening in La Liga. After seven points dropped in their last five league matches, Diego Simeone’s now sit just five points clear of Barcelona and their Madrid rivals, meaning this is a massive game in the title race. Real won 2-0 when these sides met in December and are nine La Liga matches unbeaten against Atletico.

Atletico Form

tletico have had a dip in form of late with just two wins in their last six in all competitions. At the of January, Simeone’s side were 10 points clear at the summit of La Liga but a home draw with Celta Vigo and four points dropped to Levante in four days saw the gap closed.

Atletico followed up a 2-0 home defeat to Levante by losing 1-0 to Chelsea in UEFA Champions League, albeit with their home match being played in Romania. They responded well to that loss by beating Villarreal 2-0 on the road in the last match as an own goal and a strike by substitute Joao Felix sealed the win.

Atletico Team News

Atletico have been boosted by Kieran Tripper completing his 10 week suspension. He will likely start at right wingback in this match although there is talk that he has a slight muscle injury. Centre back Jose Gimenez and left wingback Yannick Carrasco are both expected to miss out but the pair are back in training and have an outside chance of being ready to feature.

The big question is whether Joao Felix will start. He was used very deep in the defeat to Chelsea and then was only introduced at half time against Villarreal. With greater options now at right wingback, Simeone could use Marcos Llorente and Angel Correa is support of Luis Saurez and have Joao Felix as an impact player.

Atletico Motivation

Atletico would love to end their nine match winless run in La Liga against Real Madrid but a draw would be a decent result too to keep their five point gap to Real with a game in hand. However, that could open the door for Barcelona to cut Atletico’s lead to just two points.

Simeone set up in basically a 6-3-1 for much of the defeat to Chelsea recently and an abrasive and defensive approach is expected against Real Madrid too.

Real Madrid Form

Real Madrid have been in good form in La Liga with 11 wins and three draws (and one defeat) in their last 15 matches. However, a 2-1 home defeat to Levante in January and then a 1-1 home draw with Real Sociedad on Monday were blows to their hopes of catching Atletico. Prior to dropping those two points, Madrid had won four La Liga matches in a row and had gone to Bergamo and beaten Atalanta 1-0 in the UEFA Champions League.

That run of five wins in a row had seen four clean sheets as the side played pragmatically in the injury absence of Sergio Ramos at the back. Had they beaten Sociedad, they would have come into the derby just three points off Atletico. They instead sit five points behind with one match more played.

Real Madrid Team News

Real Madrid have a busy treatment table and have had injury problems all season. Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos both miss this derby due to injury in defence so Nacho and Lucas Vazquez will continue to deputise.
Rodrygo is back from a recent injury to boost options on the wing but Eden Hazard is likely to miss this match or at best return amongst the substitutes. Karim Benzema has missed three matches with a groin problem but has a chance of returning. If not, then Zinedine Zidane will either go with Mariano Diaz up front or use Isco as a false nine.

Vinicius Junior scored against Sociedad and is likely to start on the left. Federico Valverde is another pushing for a start but with the midfield three set in stone, his selection may signify a change to a midfield diamond.

Real Madrid Motivation

Real Madrid need to win this match considering the five point gap to Atletico plus the game in hand for Diego Simeone’s side. However, this is arguably more of a must-not-lose as a draw keeps the gap manageable and Zidane will still back his side to put together a winning run and take the league title.

A defeat is unthinkable and may make things insurmountable. A cautious display is expected with the midfield three sitting deep to shield the weakened defence.

Real need a win to close the six point gap to Atletico at the top but this is really a must-not-lose match. Keeping the gap as is would at least mean Simeon’s side are still somewhat at arm’s length. Therefore a relatively conservative Real Madrid approach is expected and if Modric is able to start, then it could be him, Casemiro and Toni Kroos as three deeper lying players to cover counter attacks and try to control the match with possession.

Key Stats

Atletico have won 2 of their last 6 matches (L2, D2)

Atletico have failed to score in 2 of their last 3 matches

Real Madrid are 6 matches unbeaten against Atletico, keeping 5 clean sheets

Real Madrid have won their last 4 away matches

Real Madrid are unbeaten in 9 La Liga matches against Atletico (W4, D5)(11-3 aggregate)

Madrid have won 5 of their last 6 matches


Atletico come into this match in underwhelming form and with a poor record against Real Madrid having not beaten them in La Liga since 2016. Madrid have injuries but are finding a way to win matches by keeping clean sheets. The first goal feels crucial and whoever gets it could take a 1-0 victory.

Best Bet: Under 1.5 goals at 2.75

Alternative Bet: Real Madrid to win to nil at 4.30

Value Bet: Draw HT/Real Madrid FT and under 2.5 goals at 11.00

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