It would not be an exaggeration to say that Atlético can redeem themselves with their fans for every slip-up of the season by defeating bitter rivals Real Madrid in Wednesday’s derby at the Vicente Calderón.
Close to 2,000 minutes of football between the two sides have elapsed since los Colchoneros last tasted victory against los Merengues, and the clock-of-no-wins will begin ticking again when the match kicks off at 22:00 CET.
Diego Simeone’s men will attempt to make amends with their supporters for blowing yet another opportunity to inch closer to the Champions League berth spots last weekend when they quickly collapsed against Levante in Valencia.
Popular television programmes such as Lost and The Wire, among countless others, have premiered and ended during the almost 13-year span since our last triumph over Real.
For the next hours leading up to and during this clash, little else will matter to the Rojiblanco faithful apart from their hopes of ending the ‘White Spell’.
Already a banner appears within the Calderón with a very direct message: “WIN…WIN…AND WIN.”
Simeone, who suited up for and lost all five derbies he participated in as a former Atlético player, is fully aware of the implications of the game.
“We want to play a concrete and very serious match,” he told reporters at the pre-game press conference.
“We appreciate the supporters for always being there for us. I ask of them to participate during the game tomorrow.”
‘El Cholo’ continued: “It will be a beautiful game, enviable for those that cannot play in it, with so many people watching around the world.
“We’re feeling good, we’re strong and we expect to play a great game.”
Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, who did not take part in this season’s first edition of the derbi madrileño and who was unable to start versus Levante because of a cold, is still fighting symptoms of the illness and he, along with attack partner Adrián, also suffering from a cold, did not train on Tuesday but both were included in the match selection and should be able to appear in the starting line-up.
Eduardo Salvio, Mario Suárez and Miranda are all banned through suspension, while Antonio López and Sílvio remain sidelined as they recover from their respective injuries.
El Cholo called-up Atlético B forward Pedro, and the canterano may see playing time in the unfortunate event that Falcao or Adrián are unable to suit up.
José Mourinho’s men have fumbled away what was once a 10-point lead for the Primera División title, and are now only clear of Barcelona by four points.
Should the Blaugrana defeat Getafe at the Camp Nou Tuesday evening as expected, Real will come into the derby just one point ahead of their direct rival for La Liga.
Will our hombres capitalise on all that pressure on our foes and spoil their bid for the league title?
Are you feeling optimistic ahead of the derby?
Atlético Madrid match selection:
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Asenjo
Defenders: Godín, Perea, Filipe, Domínguez, Juanfran
Midfielders: Arda, Assuncao, Gabi, Mérida, Koke, Tiago, Diego
Forwards: Pizzi, Adrián, Falcao, Pedro
Real Madrid match selection: TBA
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