Now that the International break is over, it is time for some serious action in the La Liga. It’s time for the Madrid derby! La Liga leaders Real Madrid are set to take on City rivals Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderón, Madrid on Saturday, November 19. For Real Madrid, everything is at stake in this game, both the top spot and bragging rights of the Madrid City.
Zizou’s side are currently on top of La Liga table with 27 points, 2 points above Barcelona and 6 points above Atletico Madrid. They are unbeaten across all competitions but have a host of injury concerns to deal with. With Atletico Madrid struggling this season, they will be extra fired up for the game. This is the first time when the two Spanish giants are meeting since the Champions League final last season and sweet revenge will be on Simeone’s mind.
Here are three key battles which could decide the game.
Luka Modric Vs Koke
Real Madrid will miss Toni Kroos sorely against their local rivals. The German international performed really well at the base of Real Madrid’s midfield trio this season after Casemiro broke his leg. But, with Kroos’ recent hairline crack, Modric is likely to be installed in that role just after making his comeback from injury.
Well, the Croat might be one of the best midfielders in the world but he is not used to playing in that role. Koke, an adventurous central midfielder, will be looking to exploit Real Madrid’s defence with his forward surges and whether Modric can stop him or not is questionable.
Gareth Bale Vs Filipe Luis
Bale has been the main man for Real Madrid this season with his scintillating displays from the right flank. With his pace and power, Bale will be a big threat to the Atletico defence which has been below par this campaign.
Brazilian left-back Filipe Luis is a quality full-back and is impressive on either end of the pitch. But, the 31-year-old has to be wary of Bale’s presence on his flank and must ensure that he keeps the Welsh wizard silent.
Sergio Ramos Vs Antoine Griezmann
Griezmann has been a key player for Simeone’s side for quite some time now and will be keen to fire in the big game. He has lost two finals this year, once to Real Madrid in the Champions League final and once to Portugal with France in the Euro Cup final. The French superstar will pose the biggest threat to Real Madrid defence. Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos will have to deal with the threat caused by the French forward and it will be an interesting contest.
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