Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid | Preview
And finally its here. Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid square off at the Bernabeu tonight at 22:00 CET in the Madrid derby – a game which in recent times has been more of a cakewalk than anything else. We haven’t lost to our dear neighbors at home over the last eleven years and will look to maintain that and our undefeated streak by clinching all three points at stake tonight.
Real come into this game with a 2-2 draw at the San Siro that sent it through to the next round of the Champions League with two games to spare. With the Copa Del Rey game coming up on Wednesday the players will have to roll up their sleeves and get ready to work as like JM himself suggested in last evening’s presser no derby is ever easy. Atletico do have the players to do the job for them and as they have suggested time and again (even if it isn’t against us) they can pull a surprise over any team in this world.
Atletico is a very talented team in attack, they have a great midfield, their defense will be very focused and it’s unfortunate that their goalkeeper holds the same passport as Iker Casillas. It’s a very talented team that will make us fight for our lives.
And the players should indeed fight for their lives especially if they want to play more regularly. Mourinho clearly has a single set of XI players whom he thinks are the best XI to be fielded. Even though there is ample talent on the bench it is up to those players to displace the starters. And JM agrees. The likes of Granero, Benzema, Pedro Leon, Albiol are all excellent players who are fit to play in all the top sides in the world. But this is Real Madrid. And to be more specific, this is Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid. The player has to prove himself to get a ticket into the starting XI.
Today’s starters will be tomorrow’s subs, and today’s subs will be tomorrow’s starters. There is no set protocol here. This is not the same team to be used for eleven months. This is a day-to-day team.
Twenty players were called up to face Atletico tonight. Kaka, Dudek and Garay are apparently the only ones still injured while Lass, Gago and Mateos have been dropped for tactical reasons. Real will definitely start with the same XI that started midweek. The 4-2-3-1 formation will be retained. Considering Atleti’s weakness in the center of the field our midfielders will get to operate more freely and should have no problems creating chances. The only problems that we might face should come from the wings with Reyes and Simao against Marcelo and Sergio Ramos. Our full backs should concentrate more on defending than usual.
REAL MADRID SQUAD LIST
Goalkeepers: Casillas, Adan, Isaac.
Defenders: Carvalho, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Albiol.
Midfielders: Granero, Xabi Alonso, Diarra, Pedro Leon, Khedira, Ozil, Di Maria, Canales.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuain, Benzema.
Quique Sanchez Flores meanwhile will be forced to make some changes with Godin and Asenjo unavailable due to injury and Perea serving a one-match suspension. He can however count on the services of Jose Antonio Reyes and Jorge Pulido. Forlan who hasn’t scored for 11 games running was benched midweek against Rosenborg. He probably would be returning to the side. De Gea has widely been acclaimed as the next Casillas. He will definitely play a vital role if Atleti are to get anything out of the game.
A win would keep us on top of the table and keep the momentum that we have gathered going. That’s what matters the most – to keep things running.
Let’s go and get them lads!
This is definitely a short preview but what the hell it really does not matter.
Until next time,
Para Siempre Blanco!