Match preview: Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid

Derby day in the capital as Blancos seek revenge

Can Atleti make it 3 wins in a row at the Bernabéu? (Daily Mail)

Can Atleti make it 3 wins in a row at the Bernabéu? (Daily Mail)

Three days after moving top of La Liga, Atlético can go a step further on Wednesday night as they look to secure their place in a second successive Copa del Rey final.

Last week, the red and whites beat Athletic Bilbao to become the first team to win in the new San Mamés, but face an even tougher task here in a Real Madrid side out for revenge against Diego Simeone’s team.

Kick-off at the Bernabéu is set for 20:00 CET.

Losing last year’s final in their own backyard was a bitter blow for Real Madrid to take, and having also been defeated in September’s league meeting, they would see this as the perfect way to prove that it is they, still, who are the dominant force in the capital.

Right now though, the debate is more than open. “El domina el mar, nosotros la capital” ([Neptune] rules the sea, we rule the capital), read the banner in the Bernabéu last May, and having won 4 out of 4 Madrid derbies since then, you would find it hard to make an argument.

Not to mention that it is Atlético Madrid who sit 3 points clear of La Liga currently, taking advantage of Barcelona’s shock home defeat to Valencia in rampant fashion – and paying tribute to the recently deceased Luis Aragoné in the process – with a 4-0 thumping of Real Sociedad on Sunday evening.

David Villa opened the scoring and pointed to the skies in celebration, but unfortunately limped off with a hamstring strain shortly after and will miss the first leg at least of the cup semi-final. Mario Suárez is also left out of the squad, despite making his return from a long term lay-off at the weekend.

There is positive news though in that Arda Turan is back and in line for a starting role, as does Tiago to add depth to our midfield options. Filipe Luís is the only other injury absentee, and is still a few weeks away from regaining fitness.

Rojiblanco supporters will be most encouraged by reports that Diego Ribas will start his first game back in their colours, having re-debuted and scored all before his presentation and first training session on Monday morning.

The Brazilian’s signing could not have come at a better time, and having enjoyed a lengthly winter break with former club Wolfsburg, looks to be in perfect condition to help the team continue to compete on three fronts.

In his press conference, Simeone insisted that even with Diego, he won’t make any changes to the style that has served him so well, and is looking forward to taking on our city rivals once again.

“We will keep playing our game,” he said. “Ever since the first match against Sant Andreu, we’ve respected the Cup and hope to get as far as possible, so we will continue with the same attitude.”

“Real Madrid will start as the favourite but that does not mean that they will be on the night, things are very different over two legs and both teams have the same possibilities.”

“Recently they have found a system with a 4-3-3 where the front is much more powerful, it has speed, counter attack and they are definitely playing better, but this is normal.” he finished

Switching to the Real camp, and much has been made this week of Cristiano Ronaldo‘s controversial disimissal their draw at Athletic on Sunday. The Portuguese superstar saw red for lashing out at an opponent but also looked to be guilty of further offences, including violent conduct and gesturing to officials.

The Spanish FA are still reviewing the case and extent of his ban, although on the night of his 29th birthday, he is expected to be available to take on Atlético.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti has named 22 players in his matchday squad including Ronaldo, as well as record signing Gareth Bale following another spell on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Iker Casillas will get the nod in goal.

The Italian tactician spoke to reporters on Tuesday, and stressed the importance of his side not conceding an away goal ahead of the return leg in the Calderón next Tuesday.

“Tomorrow a different Real Madrid will play to the team that played Atlético in the league,” he said. “I think we’re playing well and are confident at the moment, there is still room for improvement but I am happy with the team.”

“We will have the support of our fans tomorrow which is always important. We have to try to keep a clean sheet and win the game.”

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Aranzubia, Courtois
Defenders: Godín, Alderweireld, Manquillo, Juanfran, Insúa, Miranda
Midfielders: Tiago, Koke, Raúl García, Arda, Cristian Rodríguez, Gabi, Diego, Sosa
Forwards: Adrián, Diego Costa

Real Madrid match selection:
Goalkeepers: Casillas, Diego López, Jesús
Defenders: Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Carvajal, Arbeloa, Nacho, Coentrão
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Bale, Modric, Illarra, Casemiro, Isco, Di María
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Morata, Jesé

Referee: Carlos Clos Gómez

  • Jeronamo

    Let’s go…

  • kris

    I am predicting for a narrow win for Atleti in this game. Real Madrid CF 1-2 Club Atletico de Madrid. Let’s do this boys!!!

  • Austine dino

    I love madrid, i wish them the best in there games ahead to come

  • jeronamo

    @Austine, You mean Atleti right?

    To be honest guys I’ve got a bad feeling in my gut about today’s game for some reason but i hope I’m just nervous and that’s all

  • Arjit

    I’d rather see, barca and real fighting for Copa Del Rey at the end of the season and us knock Barcelona off the La Liga crown at Camp Nou at the end of the season. With that said, it’s the semifinals and if we get over this hurdle we don’t have to deal with it again until May. We just have a lot to lose in La Liga and CL. I guess we can go for the treble though 😛

  • Brad

    As long as we keep the game close and score at el Bernabeu, we should hopefully clean up at the Calderon

  • piserakos

    I don’t really have a bad feeling… Ok it is a difficult game. I only want to see 2 things 1) Insua and how he will handle Βale or Ronaldo and 2) Garcia, he never started such a big game (well the last 1-2 years) and I want to see if he will keep doing his job.
    I would predict a tie, but I would love to win

  • Ash

    I think the reason we won the Cup last year was because, as Cholo stated, that we value that trophy as well. But as for Real, the Cup was merely their least face-saving option. The two different mindsets gave two different performances. We fought hard and fought well, while they quickly lost their temper and got face-rolled.

  • Brad

    Let’s hope RM lose their temper again…I don’t know what i like more seeing Atleti “face-roll” Real Madrid or seeing the dejected faces of los Blancos on the pitch

  • starvs



  • Martin Rosenow


  • jeronamo

    @Piserakos i think it’s a little different this time with Real losing twice at home to us they are going to take these games very seriously just with us being the opponents. However Atleti has been well prepared tactically each game they’ve faced Real so i don’t see why we shouldn’t win or draw

  • Brad

    It would be nice if it were possible to set up a decent Atleti live-blog…unfortunately some of us have to work during cup matches… 🙁

  • piserakos

    I also work!! But *** it i told i’m sick:P I had the same problem at the cup final
    Guys every game against those hijos de puta is so special… 2 and a half hours yet!! Singing “el que no salte madridista es”,,,, Vamos Atlet!!!!

  • Abdullah

    Hala madrid…real madrid!

  • pantic#10

    Insua – Miranda- Godin – Juanfran
    Koke – Gabi – RG8 – Arda – Diego

    2 heavy weight like RG8 and Diego Costa with the support of Arda and Diego. top class.

    Aupa Atleti.

  • Will

    What a stupid lucky shot by stupid Pepe.

  • Brad

    I love how RM bitches about their precious players being touched but they drag down diego costa all the time

  • Brad

    Pepe just looks so goddamned pleased with himself all the time…

  • Brad

    That was not a fucking yellow…unless it was going to his highness the divemaster

  • Will

    He’s such a barbie, isn’t he?

  • Brad

    looks like real has the refs wrapped around their finger…

  • Brad

    I really regret not picking up a “ronaldo es un barbie” when I was in Madrid in December.

  • Will

    RM is playing much more responsibly in the Defense… It’s not easy but it’s not completely hard. We can make it.

  • pantic#10

    Unlucky Insua…
    anyway…wanna talk about the referee, the dives…??

    We need more equilibrium in the midfield…maybe Tiago?

  • Brad

    it really bugs me that our RMs players can come up after a foul with cheeky smiles and the refs don’t get it

  • Athletics- Palestine

    To tell you the truth guys I think tiago must start with gabi in midfield and to keep Diego on binch bcoz we are losing midfield and in such away game you must start with defensive midfielder like tiago or Mario.

  • Jeronamo

    Maybe this was the bad feeling I had but…… that feeling is gone and I’m going on record and saying that this second half shall be OURS!!!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Tiago for Raul Garcia, Koke back to his favorite position
    or Adrian for RG8

    we must score that precious away goal .. and we can

  • pantic#10

    Cebolla in – Diego out

  • pantic#10

    nothing to say…that was a great goal…

  • Dirceu

    omg it’s 2-0 already! Can’t even believe that they’re leading us 2 goals ahead. Work harder boys!!!

  • pantic#10

    Arda out – Adrian In

  • Sajedeh

    What should i do now? l,m dieing

  • Jeronamo

    Ah well

  • pantic#10

    RG8 out – Sosa in

    The actors are still winning 2-0

  • Atletico- Palestine

    I don’t know what is going on??!! Very weak performance defensively and offensively!!! If you don’t want the cup then start with the substitutes instead of the best 11!!!!!!!!!! Hate to see this weak atletico

  • pantic#10

    not only they’re hollywood actors…they’re also lucky…
    Modric saved on Godin…

  • pantic#10

    WTF! another owngoal…miranda…
    soooo unlucky…unbelivable

  • Dirceu

    3-0 already. I think we now can officially say goodbye to the Copa del Rey!

  • Wayy Dan 3-0
    two unfortunate deflections

  • pantic#10

    what a bunch of actors and divers.
    Terrible team Real Madrid. it’s a shame

  • pantic#10

    What a barbie…he’s winning 3-0 and one of his team mate don’t give him the ball and he send him to fu** off…
    very nice..

  • Zakaria

    We sucked, real were better. Thats not how the liga leader play. Anyways 2 own goals make me feel a little better.

  • pantic#10

    at the end we have:
    2 own goal
    1 great goal by jese
    1 penalty not given on Diego Costa
    1 great save on Godin

    We didn’t play as we know…but it was a terribly unlucky night. everything went wrong.

  • pantic#10

    oh and Diego Costa will miss the 2nd match ….

  • Arjit

    A Good reminder to Simeone to rest some players. We have 3/4 injuries in key areas. I’m not that disappointed, I’d rather us focus on more important trophies. Winning Copa Del Rey last year was only a big thing because it was against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu IMO (And it broke our curse).

  • EC

    Oh well guys, not a good night. But to be honest iam not that bothered. We didn’t play well and were incredibly unlucky, nothing we could have done about that. 2 own goals, should’ve had a pen and also arbeloa could’ve been sent off twice.

    Time to concentrate on la liga and the CL. Let real and Barca fight over the copa this season

  • Chewie

    Blaming our opponents is an immature thing to do. Real absolutely deserved a win tonight. Yes, there were two unlucky deflections and a rookie mistake from Courtois, but in my opinion they were results of a poor defensive play. Jese completely outplayed Juanfran and Insua on both flanks, Di Maria made a wonderful pass and all their attacking players were ten times more dangerous than ours. The goals themselves are crap, of course. After the first half I had a feeling that it could be a big defeat, maybe too big to overcome in the second leg. It was not the Atletico we are used to, nor it was a new, creative Atletico – it was something uncertain, utterly undisciplined in defense and impotent in offensive actions.

    At least we can say goodbye to the Cup – more energy to save for the CL and Liga.
    Does anyone really believe we can put a triplet past Casillas next week? Certainly not me.

    We desperately need Filipe back. Maybe Toby would’ve been a better choice than Insua. Maybe it was too early for Diego to step in. I’d say the blame is equally on Simeone and the team.

    Poor, poor, hopeless match.

  • pantic#10

    Out of Topic:
    Roberto signed for 4 years with Olympiakos. he’s not anymore an Atleti player.

  • Gerard Piqué the great

    After that shameful display from your team who didn’t attempt to even play one minute of football, I hope you all tune in to watch a Barcelona masterclass tonight. We’re live right now – 6 minutes into the game against Real Sociedad.

    We’ll show you how to play football. Something Simeone needs to learn…

    Your team is nothing but actors and divers. And I warn you: if we need to beat you on the last day of Liga to win the league the score will be at least 5-0 AND with no deflected goals. Thanks for giving us the chance to beat Real in the final and enjoy finishing 2nd or 3rd place in the league.

  • EC

    Yeah some master class so far. Enjoy being 3pts behind us 🙂

  • He says our clubs are divers LOL
    He won joke of the year. Coming from a barca fan the word divers means nothing to any other team

  • ali_

    GERARD PIQUÉ THE GREAT: u must be one very miserable person, but at least have good jokes as Randy pointed out