Atletico Madrid will be up against arch-rivals, neighbours, and newly crowned Spanish champions Real Madrid in La Liga at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on the 9th of May. La Liga winners Real Madrid will be looking to crash Atletico Madrid’s hopes of a top-four finish this season when they travel across town to the Wanda Metropolitano for the 229th Madrid Derby on Sunday.
Morale in the Real Madrid camp will be extremely high after their sensational comeback win against Manchester City, which allowed them to reach the final of the UEFA Champions League. On the other hand, Atletico Madrid are heading into this match after failing to win or even scored a goal in any of the last 2 league matches.
At this exact point of time in 2021, Atletico Madrid had a two-point lead over both Real Madrid and Barcelona at the top of the league table. They eventually held onto the lead and even managed a point against Barcelona to secure the La Liga title with three matches remaining in the season.
However, this season, in contrast, has been almost the polar opposite for Diego Simeone and his men as they sit 20 points behind the newly crowned league champions and arch-rivals Real Madrid. What’s worse is that Los Rojiblancos still have plenty of work left to be done in order to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Diego Simeone’s men have dropped eight points in their last four matches and have suffered defeats in their previous two games on the road. It includes the 2-0 defeat that they suffered at the hands of Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames last weekend.
Atletico Madrid are in a precarious situation right now as they continue to sit fourth in the league table. While they do have a three-point lead over Real Betis in fifth place, the latter have a game in hand. Atleti also trail Sevilla in third place by three points. It goes without saying that Atletico Madrid will also need to be on top of their game at the most crucial juncture of the season. They will face challenging fixtures against Real Madrid Sevilla and Real Sociedad before their season comes to an end.
Heading into the Madrid Derby on Sunday, Atletico Madrid have failed to win any of their last 12 league matches against Real Madrid. Their last victory in La Liga against Los Blancos arrived way back in February 2016 when they won 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, continue to be the comeback kings of Europe and their pedigree in the UEFA Champions League remains unmatched. They enjoyed yet another memorable European night on Wednesday when they produced another sensational and historic comeback in the dying stages against Manchester City to win 6-5 on aggregate and progress to the Champions League final.
Heading into stoppage time at the Santiago Bernabeu, Los Blancos were a goal behind in the second leg and trailing 5-3 on aggregate. However, substitute Rodrygo scored a dramatic brace inside two minutes in injury time to force extra time in the contest. Karim Benzema stepped up to convert his penalty from the spot to put Manchester City out of their misery and set up a final showdown against Liverpool in Paris on May 28.
Just four days before the second leg against Manchester City at home, Carlo Ancelotti’s men secure the La Liga title with a massive 4-0 win over Espanyol in front of their own supporters. Ancelotti has now become the first manager in history to win the domestic title in each of Europe’s so-called top-five leagues (La Liga, Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1).
Heading into the final few fixtures in La Liga this season, Real Madrid have essentially nothing to play for but pride. However, that sentiment means plenty for the Los Blancos. There’s no question that they will be fired up when they gear up to face their city rivals Atletico Madrid. Karim Benzema and co will be hoping to get one over Simeone’s side and dent their hopes for a top-four finish in the league.
In the reverse fixture earlier this season at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid claimed a comfortable 2-0 victory against Los Rojiblancos. They have the best away record in La Liga this season, having won 13 and drawing two of their 17 matches on the road. Real Madrid also haven’t been defeated by Atletico Madrid in their previous four meetings across all competitions at the Wanda Metropolitano, managing three draws and one win during that period.
ATM vs RMA, La Liga 2021/22
Date: 9th May, 2022
Time: 12:30 AM IST
Venue: Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Madrid
Atletico Madrid La Liga form:
Atletico Madrid form (all competitions):
Real Madrid La Liga form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
Atletico Madrid wins: 39
Real Madrid wins: 90
Atletico Madrid Team News: Atletico Madrid will miss the mercurial presence of Joao Felix upfront. The Portuguese remains sidelined with a hamstring injury along with Thomas Lemar who is also suffering from the same problem. However, Felix has been getting back on the recovery road and hopes to end the season by returning to first-team action in a couple of weeks’ time.
The defensive duo of Mario Hermoso and Reinildo will also be missed as they are to serve one-match suspensions this weekend due to an accumulation of yellow cards. However, Diego Simeone will be able to count on Stefan Savic, who is returning to the side after serving his one-match suspension in the previous encounter. He will be expected to start at center back alongside Jose Maria Gimenez and Felipe.
Although Simeone started with Geoffrey Kondogbia and Hector Herrera in central midfield last time around, they will be replaced by Koke and Rodrigo de Paul in the engine room this weekend. Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez, Angel Correa, Matheus Cunha, and Yannick Carrasco will be battling to start in the frontline against Los Blancos.
Real Madrid Team News: The league champions, on the other hand, will continue to miss the services of Eden Hazard. Hazard’s move from Chelsea to Real Madrid hasn’t worked out at all and he has spent most of his career with Real Madrid on the sidelines. Midfielder Dani Ceballos is also out with an illness.
Carlo Angelotti might also have to make some adjustments at the back as David Alaba and Eder Militao are all doubtful due to hamstring injury and a knock respectively and will be assessed ahead of kickoff. Gareth Bale also remains sidelined with a back problem and is doubtful forthis clash.
Defensive midfielder Casemiro started at center-back in the previous match against Espanyol last weekend. He could start there once again or Jesus Vallejo might partner Nacho at the heart of the backline if both Militao and Alaba continue to miss out.
Ancelotti is also unlikely to make too many changes in midfield and attack. However, either Federico Valverde or Eduardo Camavinga, who have both been impressive in the Champions League, could start in central midfield along with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos if Casemiro plays deeper than usual.
French star Karim Benzema has been on a dreamy run of form this season. He has scored several late and crucial match-winning goals for Real Madrid. He has reached the mark of 25 league goals in Spain for the first time in his career and has also assisted 11 goals to his teammates. Benzema and Vinicius Junior are likely to be partnered by in-form teammate Rodrygo, who has scored six goals in his last six matches.
Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Gimenez, Felipe; Llorente, De Paul, Koke, Lodi; Carrasco, Suarez, Griezmann
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Nacho, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius Jr
While there is always the pressure of bragging rights in a Madrid Derby, Atletico Madrid have a lot more riding on the line heading into this clash. Defeat here could see them potentially missing out on a top four place in La Liga and miss Champions League football next season. Diego Simeone is men will certainly be the hungrier of the two sides heading into the contest.
Although Real Madrid have essentially nothing to play for in La Liga right now, they’ve never been one to throw in the towel. Los Blancos are currently on a high after enjoying a historic week, and even if they do decide to rotate and shuffle things around, they might be better placed to come out on top against Atletico Madrid.