Atlético steamrolled into December’s assembly with Real Madrid off the again of seven successive wins. Diego Simeone had not too long ago swapped the conventional 4-4-2 for a contemporary, modified 3-5-2 — and by Atleti’s requirements, the crew was enjoying champagne soccer entering the Dec. 13 conflict at Valdebebas. However an ascendant Madrid, contemporary off beating Sevilla and Borussia Mönchengladbach, dumped ice-cold water on the guests in a 2-0 win that was extra snug than the scoreline indicated.
That loss served to increase Atlético’s run with out successful a league derby to 5 calendar years. Atleti haven’t claimed victory a dwelling league derby in over six years. Simeone admitted he bought it flawed in December, when he surprisingly chosen Héctor Herrera in midfield and the crew performed defensively — even aimlessly. Luis Suárez has spoken of the crew’s need to appropriate the errors made in that recreation and exact revenge.
If los rojiblancos are to point out why they’re prime of the league, then they should begin via holding possession and difficult — actually difficult — a Madrid protection that continues to be with out Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal. Portu’s aim for Actual Sociedad on Monday (an absolute peach, when you haven’t seen it) was the first time los blancos’ protection had been breached since Feb. 6. Yannick Carrasco and Kieran Trippier ought to take up their respective wingback positions from the opening kick. Trippier and Marcos Llorente ought to search to re-establish their freakishly-good connection down the proper, the latter focusing on Ferland Mendy on highly effective gallops towards the penalty space.
After all, with Koke knitting strikes collectively as the midfield anchor and extra gamers nearer to the field, possibilities will come for Suárez — who hasn’t scored since Feb. 8 and has seen Lionel Messi overtake him in the Pichichi race. Atlético must create these possibilities for Suárez and others via sustained possession spells. Although this Actual Madrid aspect has had goalscoring troubles relative to previous seasons and may not have Karim Benzema, holding 30 % possession and clinging to Jan Oblak’s heroics won’t minimize it this time. Atleti should go for it.
Ought to João Félix begin?
Experiences from Atlético coaching classes have mentioned that Simeone is planning to drop Félix to the bench on Sunday and begin both Llorente or Ángel Correa subsequent to Suárez. Félix ended his month-long scoring drought towards Villarreal final weekend, capping his well-struck 69th-minute aim with a finger to the lips — a gesture that produced bad-faith debate and mindless pearl-clutching.
Félix joined Atlético 20 months in the past and hasn’t turned in performances in step with a €126 million switch price. The 21-year-old is undeniably gifted and gained LaLiga’s participant of the month award in November, however he hasn’t constructed off his early-season efforts and stomped off after an hour in the December derby. He has proven an inclination to modify off and float via video games, notably when Atlético are defending and he doesn’t have the ball at his ft. And the reality is, the crew is best when João comes off the bench — Atleti have gained eight and drawn one when he’s been named as an alternative in LaLiga.
That mentioned, the child confirmed a sort of rage towards Villarreal, an anger that led to a powerful 45 minutes in reduction of Thomas Lemar (whose standing for this recreation is up in the air). We’ll see if he feeds off that aim and the motivation continues to burn via his fourth Madrid Derby, which he in the end might begin as an observer.
Who will win the aerial recreation?
Actual Madrid’s 11 headed targets are the most in LaLiga. Raphael Varane and Casemiro are two elite headers of a ball, that means they are going to have to be watched on set items. Additional price noting — Casemiro opened the scoring in December and scored an overhead kick on this fixture two years in the past.
Felipe Monteiro and Stefan Savić are fairly robust in the air themselves, although, whereas Atlético (53.6 %) and Actual Madrid (53.9) are neck-and-neck in proportion of general aerial duels claimed. Given Toni Kroos’ dead-ball supply experience, these two are going to should be at their best.