Real Madrid fell to their first loss of the new league campaign earlier this week, after their visit to Sanchez Pizjuan earlier this week ended in an embarrassing 3-0 defeat. They now have an identical start to their rivals Barcelona and would look to keep up in the race to the title early this season. But they face one of the toughest fixtures of their season this weekend when they welcome Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid to Bernabeu on Saturday.
With three wins and two draws in their first six league games, Atleti are not too far behind the two La Liga giants and taking something from this game would give Simeone’s men a massive boost in their pursuit of glory. Julen Lopetegui’s men were 3-0 down before halftime against Sevilla and if they do not put that game behind them, the visitors to Bernabeu this weekend could be laughing all the way to a win in this Madrid-derby. Here is the predicted lineup Real Madrid might field for this tie:
Lopetegui is still without the services of Isco, who is suffering from a niggle. Marcelo picked up a knock in the loss in Seville and could miss this game while Dani Carvajal, who missed the previous game with an injury, should be back in action for this crunch tie.
Expected lineup (4-3-3):
Thibaut Courtois did not offer anything out of the ordinary in a shocking first-half performance in Seville, earlier this week. He would have to put in some commanding performances at the back, to justify his move to the Spanish capital. He will play against his former side and might be pumped up for this game.
Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane were both beaten far too easily for two of the three Sevilla goals last week. They need to be at their best to keep the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa away from goal. Marcelo should be replaced with Nacho at left-back while Carvajal would keep his place in the side at right-back, coming back from an injury.
Casemiro might be the busiest of the hosts as he would be crucial in keeping Atleti from creating chances from the midfield. He needs to add cover to the backline and make sure that his side are not vulnerable to counter attacks in this game.
Luka Modric and Toni Kroos will play in the middle of the park and will add some creativity to the side. They would be important for the hosts to break a resilient Atleti defence.
With Isco out injured, Marco Asensio is an automatic choice on the right flank. Gareth Bale could start on the left, but the duo will pop up on the other flank quite often, in Lopetegui’s free-flowing system.
Karim Benzema is expected to lead the line and needs to do a lot more to test the visitors, than what he did in Sevilla in the last game.
Here is how they might line up:
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