02.10.2015 » The Madrid derby returns. What to expect at the Calderón?
Football is a game of passion and enthusiasm, where most of the times reason seems to abruptly end and faith decides to take over. This Sunday night, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid will lock horns at the Vicente Calderón for the first time this season, with the Colchoneros currently only 2 points adrift of the Merengues in La Liga standings. With Barcelona and Villarreal already flying high on the top of the league, losing any points this weekend could mean falling even more behind in a title race that promises to be more exciting than many of the previous years. More than a simple game or earning the 3 points at stake, this Sunday night it's these two teams' pride that is going to be on the line...
Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid - Trailer:
# Current form
With 8 games played so far this season, Atletico seems to still be struggling to find their best version. Diego Simeone's men were already defeated in 3 different occasions and they'll be coming into this Sunday's derby against Real Madrid on a 2-game losing streak.
Losses against Villarreal a week ago (1-0) and more recently in the UEFA Champions League against Benfica while playing in their own backyard, seem to have spread some disbelief in Atletico's season this year. However, we all know that a win against their biggest rivals Real Madrid can, in many perspectives, turn everything around...
On the other side of the barricade comes the all-mighty Real Madrid. With a new manager pulling the strings since July and new ideas slowly gaining shape, the Merengues appear to be on the right track to challenge for all titles this season. They've unbeaten in their previous 8 fixtures, with 6 wins and 2 draws so far.
One of the biggest differences when we compare their current form with their records in past years, is how solid they've been playing at the back. Keylor Navas has been key ever since he was given the chance to be in goal consistently and Madrid have already kept 7 clean sheets in 8 games so far. On top of that fortress, Ronaldo keeps feeding his hunger for goals and has already found the back of the net 10 times in 8 appearances.
You can also take a deeper look at several important stats and facts from this match on the following infographic provided by Sporticos.com. The version we present below is just a sample of the full research done for the derby, so feel free to take a peek on the complete infographic on the link below:
# What to expect?
For a start, we can all be certain that a very intense and competitive game awaits us at the Calderón. More than anyone else on the field this Sunday evening, Diego Simeone will know vital this game can turn out to be for his men and how much of an impact it can have in the rest of the season. It's that kind of night where aggressiveness levels are taken to the extreme and that's precisely the game Simeone plays best.
Real Madrid's full-back Alvaro Arbeloa, as well Atletico's captain Gabi, already commented on the upcoming clash and they didn't hold tongue when they saw an opportunity to heat up this weekend's derby just a little bit more...
Arbeloa: "We know that for Atletico, this Sunday's game will be their most important of the season", stated the 32-year old.
Gabi: "Game of the year for us? Arbeloa certainly haven't seen us playing lately. We'll try to win the match like we always do and I believe we are well prepared to succeed", replied the Spanish midfielder right the day after he was confronted with Arbeloa's comments.
# Team news and possible lineups
One of the good news ahead of the derby is that we might see several crucial players from both teams returning from injury. Real Madrid has been struggling a bit more in that department lately, but the truth is that Benítez also has at his disposal a far more deeper squad than Simeone.
Atletico has basically only been deprived of Koke for the past few weeks, but the truth is that the Spanish midfielder's absence has been strongly felt. The 23-year old has already returned to training and if everything goes according to plans, he might make his comeback to the Colchoneros's lineup right in this weekend's derby.
Atletico expected starting XI:
Filipe Luis, Diego Godin, Gimenez, Juanfran
Tiago, Gabi, Koke, Oliver Torres
Griezmann, Fernando Torres
Madrid on the other hand, has had quite a nightmare in regards to injuries. James Rodríguez, Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos have all missed the team's latest fixtures due to fitness problems, but they might actually all return this Sunday against Atletico. There's a good chance not all of them will make it to the starting eleven, but they should at least be fit and eligible for Benítez. Danilo's recovery will probably still take a bit longer, so he'll be the only Merengue sidelined for the derby.
Real Madrid expected starting XI:
Marcelo, Ramos, Pepe, Carvajal
Modric, Kroos, James Rodríguez
Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema
Cristiano Ronaldo next game will be for Real Madrid on the 4th of October of 2015, against Atletico Madrid. You can watch Juventus live stream, Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid, Sevilla vs Barcelona, Manchester City vs Newcastle, Chelsea vs Southampton, and Crystal Palace vs WBA, all matches delivered in our live soccer game pages.
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Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid kick-off time (04-10-2015):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 02:30
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+7: 01:30
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 00:00
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 20:30
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 19:30
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 15:30
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 14:30
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 11:30