The Madrid derby, or known locally as El Derbi Madrileño, will take place on Saturday, kicking off at 4:15pm local time. The sides sit in 2nd and 3rd in La Liga, as they both chase Barcelona to become Spanish champions. Only two points separates the teams at the moment, so this is a crucial match in terms of pride and their league ambitions.

Home Team: Atletico Madrid

Unlike their opponents, Atletico Madrid will have one week to prepare for this match as they were surprisingly eliminated from Copa Del Rey to Girona in the last 16 stage. Despite the humiliation of that cup exit, it now gives them an opportunity to focus on their main priorities which are the league and Champions League. They have managed to stay with Barcelona throughout the season, but disappointedly didn’t take advantage of Barcelona dropping points last week.

Atletico Madrid are now 6 points behind Barcelona and their chances of winning a second title in 5 years is looking increasing unlikely. Last week, they lost to Real Betis in a 1-0 score line in an off-key performance. Atletico Madrid will welcome that this match is at home, as their home form the strongest in the division. Only two teams have visited and walked away with a draw, with no teams yet to win. Perhaps even more impressive is that they have only conceded four goals at home, and two of them came in one game.

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Away Team: Real Madrid

One month ago, it had seemed that Santiago Scolari hadn’t changed the fortunes for Real Madrid since taking over. However, that home defeat to Real Sociedad at the beginning of the year seems a distant memory now. Real Madrid have won four league games against tough opposition including Sevilla and Espanyol. In addition to that, they have progressed to the semi-finals of the Copa Del Rey where they are facing Barcelona. In the first leg, Real Madrid went toe-to-toe with Barcelona at the Nou Camp, and will take a 1-1 result to the Bernabeu for the return leg.

This fixture emphasises that Real Madrid are slowly getting back to their best as they prepare for the final months of the season, as they bid to win some sort of silverware to somewhat salvage an under-performing season. Gareth Bale was dropped against Barcelona, as Scolari preferred Vinícius Júnior who continues to catch people’s attention. Will Scolari opt to drop the Welsh Wizard again?

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Head to Head

Atletico Madrid had a spell from 2000 to 2013 without beating Real Madrid but now have certainly turned the corner and actually have had the advantage in this fixture in the league in the last 5 years. However, in the most important matches that the two sides have played, including all of their Champions League matches (two finals), Real Madrid have always been victorious then. In La Liga though, Real Madrid have only won twice in the last 10 fixtures, with Atletico Madrid winning 3, with 5 draws. The sides have played twice already this season, once in the Super Cup where Atletico Madrid won an enthralling match 4-2 after extra-time. In clear contrast, their second game of the season was a drab 0-0 match at the Bernabeu. Let’s hope this match is more like the former, and the sides don’t cancel each other out.

Predictions and Betting Tips

bet now betting on football Atletico Madrid are slight favourites at 13/10 to get the win, with Real Madrid at 2/1. For the sides to draw, and both fall short in the title race, that is priced at 9/4. Both sides need a win to maintain their title chances, but also knowing that a loss would certainly end them, I suspect a caginess so therefore I’m going to call this a draw. My score line prediction is 1-1 at 5/1. To increase the odds on that, I’d recommend doing a score cast with a 1-1, with Antoine Griezmann getting the first goal at 22/1, or for if you feel Real Madrid will score first, then you select Karim Benzema at 25/1.

  Both sides are defensively solid, so I don’t expect there to be too many goals in this one. For there to be less than 2.5 goals that is at 8/11 or less than 1.5 goals at 9/4. Finally, betting on a clean sheet for either side may be a wise thing to do, so for Atletico Madrid, it’s at 15/8, and Real Madrid are at 5/2. Despite my lack of hope for a high scoring game, it should prove to be a fascinating spectacle.

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