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Real Madrid-Atlético preview: Atleti out to snap winless derby run

Atlético Madrid will play the 2021/22 season’s first Madrid Derby on Sunday night time on the Santiago Bernabéu, the place league-leading Real Madrid can all however finish this 12 months’s title race with one other win.

Real Madrid (12-3-1, 39 factors) have rung up 9 consecutive victories between LaLiga and the Champions League and final misplaced at Espanyol over two months in the past. Atlético (8-5-2, 29 factors) nonetheless have a sport in hand to make up later this month at Granada, however failing to cease Madrid’s runaway practice on Sunday will just about put an finish to hopes of claiming back-to-back league titles.

“We’re going to play a vital sport, because it at all times is in opposition to our (historic) rival,” Diego Simeone stated on Saturday. “They’re in an amazing run of kind. They’ve proven since Ancelotti’s arrival a defensive power that enhances all their offensive weapons.

“We could have to take the sport the place we predict we will harm them.”

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Simeone and Ancelotti trade greetings prior to the Spanish Supercopa first leg, Aug. 19, 2014.
Photograph credit score ought to learn GERARD JULIEN/AFP through Getty Pictures

Simeone will probably be completely satisfied to have one other central defender out there to him as Felipe Monteiro returns to the aspect, however the coach continues to be contending with a number of absences on the again. José Giménez and Stefan Savić stay injured, whereas Šime Vrsaljko had a jaw operation on Friday. Kieran Trippier (shoulder sprain) is probably going to be included within the squad, however unlikely to play a major function within the sport.

Real Madrid’s main health concern centered on Karim Benzema, however the Frenchman is included in los blancos’ squad for tomorrow.

Luis Suárez has trained normally the previous two days, and Cholo confirmed El Pistolero could be out there to play. Matheus Cunha has had the within observe on a spot within the beginning 11 subsequent to Antoine Griezmann — who scored the sport’s solely objective when Atlético final beat Real Madrid in LaLiga, almost six years in the past.

“Antoine at all times wished to return. He’s the place he desires to be,” Simeone stated. “Hopefully he can proceed to enhance and proceed to develop, as a result of we want him.

“That is what makes you stand out inside our group: expertise plus sacrifice plus effort. Understanding how to compete. Understanding how to play in any place on the sphere, as he did (in opposition to Porto) at left wing-back.”

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Griezmann celebrates his 53rd minute objective from Atlético’s 1-0 win at Real Madrid, Feb. 27, 2016.
Photograph credit score ought to learn PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP through Getty Pictures

Atlético haven’t gained any of the previous 10 league derbies in opposition to its everlasting rival and solely one of many previous eight in any competitors. Atleti have been inconsistent all season and are operating out of alternatives to flip the proverbial nook — although Tuesday’s stirring win at Porto to clinch a Champions League knockout stage berth is the most recent (and probably final) probability to achieve this.

“(Real Madrid) know that we’re aggressive, they usually know that they won’t have a simple sport tomorrow,” Simeone stated.

This preview will probably be up to date with the official squad checklist.

Date Dec. 12, 2021

Location Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid

Kickoff time 9:00 p.m. CET, 8:00 p.m. GMT, 3:00 p.m. EST, 12:00 p.m. PST

SB Nation opposition website Managing Madrid (learn our Q&A with them, and theirs with us)

Available TV/streaming ESPN+ (United States), Movistar LaLiga 1 (Spain), LaLiga TV (United Kingdom)

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