Atletico to showcase Madrid power shift

MADRID. Atletico Madrid return to Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu home on Saturday for the first time since breaking their 14-year drought in the Madrid derby back in May.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Costa will lead the line for Real and Atletico, respectively. Net photo.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Costa will lead the line for Real and Atletico, respectively. Net photo.

Saturday

Valencia    vs    Rayo        4pm

Almeria    vs    Barcelona    6pm

R Sociedad    vs    Sevilla        8pm

Real Madrid    vs    Atletico        10pm

Sunday

Osasuna    vs    Levante        12pm

Celta Vigo    vs    Elche        5pm

Espanyol    vs    Getafe        7pm

Betis    vs    Villarreal        9pm

Monday

Granada    vs    Athletic        10pm

MADRID. Atletico Madrid return to Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu home on Saturday for the first time since breaking their 14-year drought in the Madrid derby back in May.

Diego Simeone’s men won the Copa del Rey in their rival’s own backyard 2-1 after extra time in an action-packed encounter that saw Real’s star man Cristiano Ronaldo and then manager Jose Mourinho sent off.

Mourinho has since been replaced by Carlo Ancelotti on the Real bench, but Atletico’s revival under Simeone continues unhindered as they currently lead their city rivals by two points in La Liga having won all six of their matches to date.

Victory over Osasuna on Tuesday meant Atletico equalled their best ever start to a league season and they are looking to continue their sensational form in the biggest game either side has faced so far this season.

“We know we can win and we know how to beat them. We have managed to do it now,” said Atletico defender Filipe Luis. “We know it is still going to be very difficult, even when having an off day in the cup final, they had six or seven clear chances and hit the post a few times.

Gareth Bale is expected to finally make his home debut for Real after a thigh strain forced him to pull out of last weekend’s 4-1 win over Getafe in the warm-up.

Diego Costa will be the biggest threat to Real with his seven goals in six league games so far rumoured to have the naturalised Brazilian on the verge of a call-up to the Spanish national team.

And the hosts will have to substantially improve on their showing against Elche in midweek as only a controversial injury time penalty converted by Ronaldo prevented them from dropping four points behind Atletico and Barcelona.

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