6th of April 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
The Madrid Derby will have its 219th episode on display on Sunday as defending LaLiga champions Real Madrid take on rivals Atletico Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu. The reverse fixture was played in November and it ended goalless, while last season Real Madrid won 3-0 away from home before a 1-1 draw at Santiago Bernabeu. Moreover, last season the two rivals have also met in the Champions League semi-finals and the Blancos pulled through after a 3-0 home win and a 2-1 away defeat.
This is the best chance for Real Madrid to put some pressure on Atletico and maybe finish second behind Barcelona at the end of the season, Real are just four points behind second-placed Atletico at the moment but just one point ahead of fourth-placed Valencia. Zinedine Zidane's men should be quite confident and relaxed after Tuesday's spectacular 3-0 away victory at Juventus in the Champions League, next week's second leg should be just a formality so the Blancos can fully focus on the Madrid Derby. However, Zidane might choose to rotate some of his players anyway.
Atletico Madrid had a pretty rough time in LaLiga lately as they have lost two of their last four matches, but they did a lot better in the Europa League. This week they defeated Sporting 2-0 in the first leg of the quarter-finals tie and they are strong favourites to advance to the semi-finals. However, their second position in the league table is in danger so they should try their best to avoid defeat in the derby in order to keep Real Madrid four points away. Filipe Luis is still out of contention, while Jose Gimenez and Juanfran remain injury doubts.
Real: Navas - Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo - Modric, Kroos, Casemiro - Isco - Ronaldo, Bale
Atletico: Oblak - Isaac, Savic, Godin, Hernandez - Gabi, Partey - Correa, Koke, Niguez - Gameiro
My prediction 1-1 draw.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Real win - 1.75
Draw - 3.75
Atletico win - 4.75
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This will be a direct second place clash between the two Madrid rivals.
I don't think there's much difference in between second and third place in the standings for those teams as they won't catch Barcelona but still they will be up for the win of course.
Maybe Atletico could get something out of this so 0-0 is my forecast.
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